UN chief comes out against Kurdish independence referendum

PTI United Nations | Updated on January 10, 2018

antonio-guterres   -  Reuters

The UN says Secretary–General Antonio Guterres opposes the September 25 independence referendum planned by Iraq’s Kurds for the enclave in the country’s north.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Sunday that Guterres believes any unilateral decision to hold a referendum now would detract from the need to defeat the extremist group Islamic State.

He said that the UN chief believed the referendum would also detract from reconstruction of regained territories and the safe return of over 3 million people displaced by IS.

Dujarric says Guterres respects Iraq’s “sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity” and believes all issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan regional government should be resolved through dialogue and compromise.

He also said that Guterres called on Iraq’s leaders to approach the matter with “patience and restraint.”

Published on September 18, 2017

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