Iraqi president rules out possibility of independent Kurdish state

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Iraqi president rules out possibility of independent Kurdish state
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Mart 16, 2009 12:13

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani ruled out the future possibility of an independent Kurdish state in a bid to appease regional countries' concerns regarding the issue. (UPDATED)

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Talabani told a Turkish newspaper in an interview published on Monday that it would not be realistic to believe that an independent Kurdish state could survive as it is likely that neighboring countries Turkey, Iran and Syria would close their borders.

"I tell my Turkish brothers not to fear that Kurds will declare independence. It is an advantage for Kurds to stay within the borders of Iraq in terms of their economic, cultural, social and political interests," he told in the interview.

He said uniting all Kurds, including those in Turkey and Iran, within one Kurdish state is "just a dream in poems".

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"How will you divide Turkey, Iran or Iraq? It is impossible to even contemplate this. It would need a world war for such a thing to happen. This is impossible," Talabani, himself a Kurd, said.

Talabani also said 95 percent of Iraqi Kurds voted in favor of the new Iraqi constitution, which says the country is "a democratic, federal, representative republic", in a show of support to the unity of Iraq.

After the U.S. occupation in 2003, Kurds in the northern Iraq strengthened their autonomous statute, prompting concerns in regional countries with high Kurdish populations, like Turkey, Syria and Iran that the regional administration would eventually declare independence and separate from Iraq. Turkey supports Iraq's territorial integrity.

Talabani, who is in Istanbul to attend the fifth World Water Forum, met Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan late on Sunday.

 

The issues of security and the struggle with the terror organization PKK, which launches cross-border attacks on Turkey from bases in northern Iraq, were high on agenda of the meeting between Erdogan and Talabani, sources said.

 

The Iraqi president will meet his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on Tuesday.

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