15:57 GMT19 October 2020
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    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has commented on the upcoming independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan and whether the results of the vote would be recognized by Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia supports the territorial integrity of countries in the Middle East, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday commenting on the upcoming independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.

    "Russia’s position is the one in favor of territorial integrity of regional states," he told reporters.

    Peskov added that he would not like to comment on whether the results of the vote would be recognized.

    On Monday, Iraq's Federal Supreme Court mandated a halt to preparations for the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, slated for September 25.

    In June, Masoud Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan, set September 25 as the date for an independence referendum which has been widely criticized by a number of countries, including Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United States.

    While Moscow voices support for Iraq's unity and territorial integrity, Washington reportedly asked Barzani to postpone the referendum.

    Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region in the north of Iraq. The Kurds, who account for 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. 

    independence referendum, Masoud Barzani, Iraqi Kurdistan, Russia
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