Iraq's vice president said on Sunday that his country “will not allow the creation of a second Israel in northern Iraq," in a reference to the Kurdish attempt to gain independence, a pro-Kurdish news site Rudaw reported Monday.
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Iraq's Vice President Nouri al-Maliki made the comments to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Sliman.
Ahead of the September 25 referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq, a measure opposed by Iraqi lawmakers, Netanyahu declared his support for "the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve a state of their own," making Israel the only country to support the establishment of an independent Kurdistan.
Following Netanyahu's support for Kurdish national efforts, pro-government newspapers in Turkey falsely reported an alleged deal to settle 2000,000 Kurdish Jews in the newly independent Kurdistan, as Turkey ramped ups its warnings against a "yes" vote in the upcoming referendum.
The re-settlement plan, the false reports claimed, was hatched by Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani. A pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Sefak wrote that Barzani "received support only from Israel during the referendum process" and will utilize "help from Kurds of Jewish origin."
Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, viewing the minority ethnic group - whose indigenous population is split between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran - as a buffer against shared Arab adversaries.