Netanyahu says Israel endorses independence for Kurds – Washington Post

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By Associated Press,

JERUSALEM — Israel’s leader says the country supports Kurdish independence ahead of a key referendum on the matter.

In an announcement early Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says Israel rejects the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and considers it a terrorist organization. However, the statement says Israel “supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own.”

Iraq’s Kurds plan to hold the referendum on Sept. 25 in three governorates that make up their self-ruled region as well as disputed areas that are controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

Israel has long been sympathetic to the Kurds and becomes to first country to officially endorse them in the vote.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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