September 25, 2017 2:37 pm
Updated: September 25, 2017 2:40 pm

Justin Trudeau stays mum on Iraq referendum, citing Quebec as a lesson

WATCH: Trudeau says it is 'too early' to weigh in on Kurdish referendum


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is refusing to weigh in on a Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq, saying he appreciated that other countries held their tongues during Quebec’s referendums.

Iraqi Kurds are expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour of seeking their own country during a controversial referendum today.

READ MORE: Kurds in Iraq cast their vote in historic referendum for independence

Many oppose the vote, including the U.S., the European Union and Turkey, as well as Iraq’s central government in Baghdad, which claims some of the same oil-rich territory as the Kurds.

Canadian officials have said they support a united Iraq, but otherwise refuse to comment on whether the referendum should be held or how Canada will react to an independence vote.

WATCH: Kurdish referendum sparks worries ISIS could re-take territory in destabilized region

Trudeau says as a Quebecer, he is sensitive to other countries getting involved in another country’s internal decisions and that he will respect the process established by the Kurds.

The Kurdish referendum is non-binding, but is expected to kick-start separation talks between the Kurdistan regional government in the north of Iraq, and Baghdad.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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