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The KRG’s independence referendum: Whatever will be, will be

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The pressure on Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is building as the date for the Sept. 25 referendum on independence nears; unsurprisingly, Turkey’s attitude is also hardening considerably.

KRG leader Massoud Barzani, on the other hand, seems determined to go through with the referendum unless he is provided with concrete reassurances on the KRG’s sovereignty rights.

Until the vote was called, Turkey and the KRG actually enjoyed fairly pragmatic relations. Especially since 2007, Ankara chose to form closer ties with the KRG to counterbalance both the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Iran’s growing influence in the region.

Ironically, Ankara and Arbil have developed their relations in opposition to occasional objections from both Baghdad and Washington.

Since 2014, the KRG has been exporting oil to the world via Turkey after cutting Baghdad out of the loop. Likewise, Turkish investors have been heavily involved in northern Iraqi projects to ship natural gas to Europe via Turkey. Despite all the degradations caused by........

© Hürriyet Daily News