Iraqi Kurdish referendum: United Nations warns of 'destabilising impact'

Turkish troops conduct military exercises near along its border with Iraq near the Habur Border Gate

Earlier, Turkey's National Security called the referendum "illegal", stating that Ankara will use its rights arising from both worldwide and bilateral documents.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani on Saturday delayed a scheduled news conference on the referendum as worldwide pressure mounts for a postponement.

A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government held talks with the Iraqi ruling Shi'ite coalition in Baghdad on Saturday, two days before a planned referendum on secession from Iraq.

Turkey, home to the largest Kurdish population in the region and fighting a Kurdish insurgency, has warned that any breakup of neighbouring Iraq or Syria could lead to a global conflict. Military sources said the drill was due to last until 26 September, a day after the planned referendum.

He said: "We want the referendum to be cancelled and support the motion not for war but for peace in the region".

The UN Security Council's vote is meant to reflect fears of nations across the world that, if the right to self-determination becomes commonplace, they'll lose territory.

Despite opposition from Turkey, Iraq and Iran as well as the US, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani insisted on Friday that the referendum would go ahead.

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Iraq held a rare trilateral meeting Wednesday in NY on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, days ahead of the non-binding September 25 referendum.

In a separate development Friday, a spokesman for Iraq's mostly Shiite paramilitary troops known as Popular Mobilization Forces said they have joined the battle against Islamic State militants in the contested province of Kirkuk.

The National Security Council's meeting was followed by a Turkish cabinet meeting that focused on countermeasures ahead of the Iraqi Kurdish vote.

Speaking on behalf of the KRG delegation, Roj Nuri Shaways said they expressed Erbil's determination to hold the referendum, but they could not agree on this with the central government in Baghdad. "We say that we are ready for serious open-minded dialogue with Baghdad, but after September 25, because now it is too late".

"If Washington had done to Texas what Baghdad has committed against Kurds, Texas would never go back to Washington", he said.

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