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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred Israeli government comment on Monday’s Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq, Reuters reported quoting two Israeli officials.

Asked to comment on the referendum, one Israeli cabinet minister declined, telling Reuters on condition of anonymity: “Netanyahu asked us not to.” A second Israeli official confirmed the order, saying the subject was “too sensitive”.

Netanyahu’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Israel has backed Kurdish independence in the past - most recently in the September 13 statement by Netanyahu.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Netanyahu’s position on the Kurds affected Ankara’s relations with Israel.

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