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Kurds deny seeking Israel’s assistance in separation from Iraq

August 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 16, 2017 [Mustafa Yalçın / Anadolu Agency]

A Kurdish official has denied remarks conveyed by an Israeli MK claiming that Kurdish officials visited Israel and asked for their help in seeking independence from Iraq, Anadolu reported yesterday.

On Monday the Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova said: “They say that Israel has a strong lobby and the ear of [US President Donald] Trump, and that they would be very happy if we could help,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told a US Republican congressmen that he has a “positive attitude” towards “independence” for the Kurds.

The MK, who chairs a Knesset conference for strengthening relations between Israel and the Kurdish people, reiterated that the visit of the Kurdish delegation to Israel was for this purpose and said that she was sure 100 per cent that the independence of the Kurds is “good” for Israel because it is looking for partners in the region.

Read more: The Kurds in Iraq are preparing for a referendum to redress the mistakes of the past

Speaking to Anadolu Falah Mustafa, the head of the foreign relations department in the Kurdish Regional Government, said that these reports are “false,” giving no more details.

The Iraqi government does not want the planned separation referendum to take place as it is opposed to the Iraqi Constitution which was ratified in 2005, noting it is not in favour of the political, economic or national interest of the Kurds. The independence referendum is scheduled for the 25 September.

There are fears that a referendum will increase instability of the region. Turkey rejects it and said that keeping Iraqi land united contributes towards maintaining peace and security.

The US expressed its worries about this referendum, considering it a deviation from urgent priorities such as efforts to defeat Daesh, and have asked that they postpone it. Iraqi Kurds have refused this request.

The UN said that this referendum should not be carried out without understanding between Baghdad and Erbil.