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Turkey's Erdogan says Kurdish independence vote risks regional crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Tuesday said a Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq could lead to fresh conflicts in the Middle East.

“New crises in the region, such as bids for independence, could spark new conflicts and must therefore be avoided at all costs ... We urge Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government to abort the steps they have taken in that direction,” Erdogan told the United Nations General Assembly.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Howard Goller