TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The governments of Iraq and Turkey have agreed to set up a permanent crisis management center in a bid to address the existing concerns about a plan by the Arab country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region to hold an independence referendum, a report said.

Baghdad and Ankara will establish a permanent crisis management center to monitor the situation in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region around clock, the online Arabic-language Ray al-Youm website said in a report on Sunday.

The independence vote is scheduled to be held on September 25. 

Recently, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the referendum was a matter of national security for the country and Ankara would never accept a change of status in Iraq or Syria.

He added that Turkey would take security, economic and political steps in response to the referendum.

US diplomats and their Western allies are reportedly making last-ditch efforts to persuade the northern Kurdish region’s president, Massoud Barzani, to delay the plebiscite in favor of mediated negotiations with Baghdad.

The US has warned that diplomatic support and assistance for Kurdistan may be curtailed if the autonomous region of Iraq goes ahead with the independence referendum planned for Monday.

The United Nations has also appealed for dialogue, saying it will not be “engaged in any way or form” in the referendum.

Iraq’s prime minister, Haider Abadi, called the referendum a “dangerous escalation” and said he was prepared to intervene militarily if violence breaks out.

Iraq’s parliament declared the vote unconstitutional and moved to dismiss the Kurdish governor of Kirkuk, who supports the referendum and says only the provincial council can remove him.