Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied Turkey’s accusation that the regime was involved in a recent controversial secession referendum in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech in the eastern city of Erzurum on Saturday that Israel’s Mossad spy agency had played a role in the Kurdish bid for secession.
“This shows one thing, that this administration (in northern Iraq) has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together,” the Turkish leader said.
Netanyahu said on Sunday, “Israel played no part in the Turkish referendum, aside from the natural, deep and long-standing sympathy the Jewish people have for the Kurdish people and their aspirations.”
On September 13, the Israeli premier voiced support for what he called the “legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own.”
The non-binding Kurdish plebiscite took place on September 25, sparking strong objections from the central government in Baghdad, which views it as unconstitutional.
Other countries, including Iraq’s neighbors, as well as the international community have also voiced concerns over the repercussions of the vote during which some separatists carried Israeli flags.