The US State Department has expressed concern about the “non-binding” independence referendum to be held in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in September.
The US State Department said in a statement Thursday that the referendum would remove “the most important priorities” such as the defeat of the militants of the organization “Dahesh.”
“We encourage regional authorities to talk to the government of Iraq on a whole range of important issues including the future of relations between Baghdad and Erbil on the basis of the Iraqi constitution,” she said.
While expressing appreciation for the “legitimate aspirations” of the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, she said in the statement that she supports “a united, stable and democratic federal Iraq.
Earlier in the day, Germany expressed concern that the plans of the Kurdistan region to hold a referendum on secession, may fuel tension in the region, warning the region of this step.
“We can only warn against taking unilateral steps in this issue, the unity of Iraq is in great danger,” German Foreign Minister Zygmar Gabriel said in a statement, which is the first international reaction to plans announced by regional president Massoud Barzani.
“Redrawing the borders of the state is not the right way and could aggravate the already difficult and volatile situation in Erbil, the capital of the province, and in Baghdad,” he said.
He called on all parties to seek dialogue and find consensus to deal with outstanding issues and not to ignite conflicts again in the disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad, stressing the need to preserve the unity of Iraq to support the ongoing war against the organization “Daaish.”
“There is no victory yet in the war against the organization and together we can only take the next steps, which are perhaps the most important in dealing with the challenges ahead,” he said.