Iraq asks Turkey, Iran to close border with KRG


Iraq has asked Turkey and Iran to close border crossings with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, according to an Iraqi foreign ministry spokesman.

Last month, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) held a controversial referendum on whether to declare independence from Iraq with Iraq and its neighbors denouncing the vote as illegitimate.

In a statement on Friday, ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahgoub said a formal memo has been sent to the Turkish and Iranian embassies in Baghdad asking them to halt commercial transactions with the Kurdish region and to deal only with the federal government.

“The Iraqi government is cooperating with the Turkish and Iranian sides to enforce all measures taken to save law and Constitution,” the spokesman said.

Following the vote, Baghdad has moved to ban international flights into KRG-held areas and close foreign missions in the Kurdish region.

According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence.

The illegitimate referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, many warning that it would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the already-volatile region.


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