Ankara working with Baghdad in transferring control of Habur border crossing from KRG to central government, Yildirim says.

Proposal of northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to freeze its illegal referendum would not serve as any compensation for the damage, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Thursday.

"Regardless of whatever decision the northern Iraqi administration takes, the point we reach today clearly shows that any decision they take would not bear any compensation for the damage they caused," Yildirim told a joint news conference with his Somali counterpart in Ankara.

On Sept. 25 Iraqis in the KRG-held areas -- and in a number of disputed areas -- voted on whether or not to declare regional independence from the Iraqi state.

Başbakan Binali Yıldırım, Somali Başbakanı Hasan Ali Hayri ile yapılan baş başa ve heyetler arası görüşmelerin ardından Çankaya Köşkü'nde düzenlenen ortak basın toplantısında ile ilgili görsel sonucu

According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence.

The illegitimate referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, with many warning it would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.

Yildirim also mentioned the Turkish government's willingness to work "more efficiently" with Iran and Iraq for the peace, security and counterterrorism operations in the region.

He said that Ankara is working with Baghdad in transferring the control of Ibrahim Khalil border crossing -- also known as Habur -- from the Erbil-based KRG to the central government.

The border gates, according to Iraqi constitution, belong to the central government, said the Turkish premier.

"We have additionally discussed establishing a new route from west of Habur region. The Iraqi side welcomes it and we will work together to open this border."

Yildirim also highlighted enhancing bilateral relations with Somalia. "The relations with Somalia are developing and will continue to develop. We have embraced a new model of strategic partnership," he said.

"We will continue to provide all means of support to your government and state to create better days, better tomorrows for our brothers and sisters living there," he added.

He stressed the "importance" of Somalia becoming "one voice, one body" for the development of the country and urged the new Somali administration to implement reforms.

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire expressed his gratitude to the Turkish government and added "Somali people will forever be in debt to you".

Khaire vowed to "rebuild" war-torn Somalia, saying that relations that gained momentum in 2011 with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Mogadishu are to further enhance in the upcoming years.

AA