Iraqi Kurds must be allowed to hold referendum: Russian FM
The autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region “must be” allowed to hold an independence referendum this year because they have the “right” to express their aspirations to break away from Iraq, declared Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview with Kurdish news outlet Rudaw.

“It is important for us that the Kurds like all other people of the world achieve their ambitions and legal rights and political goals,” proclaimed Lavrov, noting that Russia would support a “peaceful” implementation of the upcoming referendum’s goals.

Iraqi Kurdistan is expected to hold a vote on independence in September 25.

“We see the referendum as the expression of the ambitions of the Kurdish people and as far as I know the majority of the population of the Kurdish autonomous region support this referendum,” said Lavrov, adding, “We are ready to help Baghdad and Erbil in a process that would respect both sides.”

 “The desires and legal goals of the Kurds must be fulfilled like that of all other peoples, and according to the right that they have within the international law and that is tied to the decision which we understand has been made in Erbil to hold a referendum,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Lavrov indicated that Russia wants to keep Syria together.

Russia has a consulate in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in turn has representation in Moscow.

“Our relations are historic, and we have been expanding them for years, especially with the head of the government and other officials of the autonomous Kurdish region,” noted Lavrov.

Reporter’s code: 50101

News Code: 16571  |  Date: 2017/07/26  |  Time: 11 : 31

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