Iraqi Kurds under pressure after independence vote

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from Al Jazeera,

Baghdad calls for suspension of international flights to Kurdish region after ‘Yes’ vote wins independence referendum.

Kurdish regional authorities in northern Iraq are under increasing pressure after Monday’s independence referendum, as the Iraqi government calls for a suspension of international flights to airports in the Kurdish region.

Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines (MEA) will suspend flights to and from Erbil airport in northern Iraq from Friday, citing an Iraqi government decision to block international flights at the airport, MEA Chairman Mohammad al-Hout said by phone.

“For now, we’re stopping. The last flight is on the 29th, until they solve the issue,” he told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.

MEA’s decision comes just hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi threatened to impose an international air embargo on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) if it does not hand over control of its airports.

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