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Israel helps the Kurds' quest for independence – Netanyahu



09:50 GMT 13.09.2017 (updated 12:21 GMT 13.09.2017) Get a short URL

According to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to reach their own state while viewing the Kurdish Workers' Party as a terrorist organization. An independence referendum is planned for September 25th.

TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Israel supports Kurdish efforts to create its own state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"While Israel rejects terrorism as a whole, it supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to reach their own state," said Netanyahu on Tuesday, as quoted by the Haaretz newspaper.

At the same time, Israel rejects the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK )’s activities and views them as a terrorist organization, the Prime Minister added.

Netanyahu's speech took place just a few weeks before the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum, scheduled for September 25, aimed at creating an independent Kurdish state in what is now Iraq.

The Israeli leader's statement contradicts the positions of a number of countries, including Iran, Iraq, Turkey and the United States, which have already criticized plans to hold the independence vote in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Tuesday's speech was not Netanyahu's first statement in support of the Kurdish state, having made similar statements in 2004 and 2014.

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