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Iraq rejects Kurdish calls for referendum

Image of Iraqi Kurds at the Turkish border [file photo]
Iraqi Kurds at the Turkish border [file photo]

The Iraqi government would reject any move by Kurdish regional authorities to press unilaterally for independence, a government spokesperson revealed today.

“No party can on its own decide the fate of Iraq, in isolation from the other parties,” spokesman Saad Al-Haddithi said in a statement.

Iraq is constitutionally a democratic, federal country with full sovereignty … Any measure from any side in Iraq should be based on the constitution,

Haddithi added.

Turkey today called the plan to hold a referendum on independence a “terrible mistake”, saying that Iraq’s territorial integrity and political unity was a fundamental principle for Ankara.

“We think this will represent a terrible mistake,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Read: Kurdish independence in Iraq ‘not if, but when’ says US general 

On Wednesday Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President, Massoud Barzani, announced that a referendum on Kurdish independence would be held on 25 September.

The US State Department said yesterday it was concerned that the non-binding independence referendum would distract from “more urgent priorities” such as the defeat of Daesh.

While saying it appreciated the “legitimate aspirations” of the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, the State Department said in a statement it supports a “unified, federal, stable and democratic Iraq” and had voiced concerns about the planned September referendum to Kurdish authorities.

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