Iraqi Kurdish men take part in a rally calling for the deferment of an independence referendum that is due to take place on September 25, on September 9, 2017 in the autonomous Kurdish region town Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq. AFP / SHWAN MOHAMMED
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Israel supports the establishment of a Kurdish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, as Kurds in Iraq gear up for a referendum on independence that lawmakers in Baghdad oppose.Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the '60s, viewing the ethnic group, whose indigenous population is split between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran, as a buffer against shared Arab adversaries.Netanyahu said Israel does however consider the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) a terrorist group, taking the same position as Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
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