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    A flag of the autonomous Kurdistan region flies as Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take position to monitor the area from their front line post in Bashiqa, a town 13 kilometres north-east of Mosul (File)

    Iraqi Kurdistan 'Has No Plans' to Create Kurdish States in Iran, Turkey

    © AFP 2017/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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    The Iraqi Kurdistan government commented on the upcoming independence referendum.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iraqi Kurdistan has no intentions to contribute to the creation of Kurdish states in Iran or in Turkey, but expects that Tehran and Ankara would respect the rights of local Kurds, a spokesman of the Iraqi Kurdistan's regional government told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "Iraqi Kurdistan has good relations with both Iran and Turkey and has no plans to create Kurdish states in these countries. But we hope that Turkey and Iran would solve the problems with Kurdish and other minorities. We have focused solely on work in Iraqi Kurdistan," Safin Dizayi said.

    The official confirmed the presence of representatives of the Kurdish opposition from both Iran and Turkey in Iraqi Kurdistan, adding that they act without consent of local authorities.

    Moreover, Dizayi noted that the potential creation of a Kurdish state as a result of the looming Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum would not destabilize the region, but would contribute to its stabilization.

    "The instability in the region started after the 1990 Iraqi intervention in Kuwait, after the Iran–Iraq War and continues to this day. But all these cataclysms have not been caused by the Kurds' activities. On the contrary, Kurds are a stabilizing factor in the region. The emergence of a Kurdish state would not change the status quo, but would contribute to improvement of the situation and to stabilization," Dizayi said, adding that holding a referendum is a legal right of any people, as Iraq "is not a de-facto united country."

    The Kurdish official added that the referendum would not result in a break-up with Baghdad.

    "The independence referendum is not a complete break-up. Baghdad will be Kurdistan's strategic partner," Dizayi said.

    The statement comes following the Iraqi parliament's vote against the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum earlier in the day.

    In June, Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan, set September 25 as the date for an independence referendum. The announced referendum has been widely criticized by a number of countries, including Russia, Iran and the United States. While Moscow voiced support for Iraq's unity and territorial integrity, Washington reportedly asked Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani to postpone holding the region's independence referendum.

    In 2005, the Iraqi Constitution recognized Kurdistan as an autonomous region that was run by the Kurdistan Regional Government. Since then, Kurdistan’s authorities have repeatedly raised the issue of independence.

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    independence referendum, Iran, Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan
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