Erdogan Says Barzani's Decision Not To Postpone Referendum "Very Wrong"
Massoud Barzani's decision not to postpone an independence referendum later this month is "very wrong", Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday (September 15).
Speaking in an interview with broadcaster A Haber, Erdogan said Turkey would announce its official position on the referendum after its National Security Council and cabinet have convened on September 22.
Earlier on Friday Barzani said the vote would not be delayed, despite pressing requests from the United States and other Western powers worried that the tensions between Baghdad and Erbil would distract from the war on Islamic State militants, who continue to occupy parts of Iraq and Syria.
Barzani announced on Friday (September 15) that the Kurdistan Region will maintain a plan to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25, saying no alternative to the vote as of yet.
Barzani said that so far he has not seen no alternative in place of the Kurdish referendum and that the date is standing, commenting on the request communicated during meeting between him, U.S., U.K., and U.N. envoys.
Seperately Erdogan said on Friday he would discuss with U.S. President Donald Trump next week the case of a former Turkish economy minister indicted in the United States for conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Former minister Zafer Caglayan and the ex-head of a state-owned Turkish bank were charged on Wednesday (September 13) with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by illegally moving hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on Tehran's behalf.
The indictment marks the first time an ex-government member with close ties to Erdogan has been charged in an investigation that has further strained already difficult ties between Washington and Ankara.
Last week Erdogan said he had told Washington that Turkey had never agreed to comply with its sanctions on Iran, and called on the United States to review the indictment.
He also said Trump had called him and vowed to follow the case more closely.