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UNSC warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

United Nations Security Council

UN Security Council has warned that a referendum on independence by Iraq’s Kurdistan region was potentially destabilizing, adding its weight to international opposition to the vote. In an unanimous statement, the 15-member council yesterday said the referendum planned for Monday could hinder efforts to help refugees return home and weaken the military campaign against the Islamic State group.

The move heightened pressure on Iraqi Kurd leaders to call off the vote after Turkey, Iran and Iraq urged them to abandon the plan that is also opposed by the United States. The statement said Council members expressed concern over the potentially destabilising impact of the Kurdistan regional government’s plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.

Iraqi Kurds will vote on September 25 in the non-binding referendum on whether to declare independence in a region that has already been autonomous since the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.

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