WORLD

Germany opposes Iraqi Kurdish independence vote

GERMANY OPPOSES IRAQI KURDISH INDEPENDENCE VOTE

Germany has renewed its opposition to a unilateral independence referendum planned by Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on Sept. 25.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin on Friday, government deputy spokesman Georg Streiter warned that such a move might lead to new tensions in an already-volatile region.

"The German federal government regards the territorial integrity of Iraq as the highest good and views it as indispensable," he said.

"The government opposes a unilateral referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region, which is not agreed with the central government in Baghdad," he added.

Streiter welcomed a recent agreement by the ruling parties in the KRG to reactivate the regional parliament after two years of disruption, and he called on all sides to engage in "constructive dialogue" to overcome recent tensions between Erbil and Baghdad.

KRG President Masoud Barzani said on Thursday he will study a proposal conveyed by a delegation from the U.S., the UN and the U.K. to postpone the independence vote.

Iraq's central government rejects the non-binding referendum, and says it would violate the terms of the country's constitution.

Baghdad also warns that such a move would lead to new tensions and undermine fight against the Daesh terrorist group, which still maintains a significant presence in northern Iraq.

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