World News

Iraqi PM says Kurds 'playing with fire' with independence vote: report

FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi delivers remarks at the morning ministerial plenary for the Global Coalition working to Defeat ISIS at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that Kurdish plans to hold a referendum on independence was like “playing with fire”, according to a local media website.

Abadi’s comment came after the parliament of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq approved on Friday the Kurdistan Regional Government’s plan to hold the vote on Sept. 25.

The vote could jeopardize gains achieved by the Kurds under the self-rule regime, Abadi said, according to the Iraqi Media News Agency news website.

Abadi’s media office didn’t answer calls to confirm his comments.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Robin Pomeroy