13:40 GMT +324 March 2019
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    Iraqi Kurdistan's Referendum on Independence 'Illegal' - Arab League

    © AFP 2019 / SAFIN HAMED
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    Permanent Representative of Iraq to the Arab League says that the organization considers the referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan's independence illegal.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) — The foreign ministers of the League of Arab States (Arab League) called the referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan's independence from Iraq illegal, adding that it would pose a threat to the Middle Eastern security, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the Arab League Habib Sadr said.

    Sadr said on Wednesday that the Arab League's foreign ministers considered "the referendum illegal and inconsistent with the Constitution of Iraq."

    According to the official, the foreign ministers urged all the parties concerned to pursue a dialogue-oriented approach and address all existing disagreements in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution.

    "The ministers decided to support the territorial integrity of Iraq and assumed that this referendum posed a threat not only to the unity of Iraq but also to the security in the whole region," Sadr added.

    Sadr indicated that other Arab states feared that the Iraqi Kurdistan's independence referendum might trigger similar acts outside Iraq and lead to unmanageable processes in the Middle East.

    Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria all have significant Kurdish minorities, but only Iraq has an official autonomous Kurdish region.

    The Kurds, making up about 20 percent of the Iraqi population, have been seeking self-governance for decades. In 2005, Iraq’s Constitution recognized Kurdistan as an autonomous region run by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

    In June, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, set September 25 as the date for the referendum on the region's independence from Iraq, prompting criticism from the international community.


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