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US refuses to recognise Kurdistan's independence referendum, calls for focus on fight against Islamic State

Washington:  The US announced on Friday that it did not recognize the outcome of the referendum on independence held by the Iraqi Kurdistan region on Monday, a vote that Baghdad and Washington opposed.

The referendum had a 72 percent participation rate and almost 92 percent of the votes favored independence.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"The vote and its results lack legitimacy and the US continues to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq," the State Department said in a statement, reports Efe.

Washington also warned that Kurdistan's aspirations "can not advance through unilateral measures like this referendum."

For all this, the United States urged both Baghdad and Erbil the Kurdish capital  "to calm down and put an end to reciprocal recriminations and threats."

"We urge the Kurdish authorities to respect the role by constitutional mandate of the central government, and we call on the central government to reject threats and mentions of possible use of force," the US government added.

Similarly, Washington also urged neighbouring countries to "reject unilateral measures and the use of force."

Washington and other Western powers such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom opposed the referendum because they see Iraq's unity as key to defeating the Islamic State, a struggle in which the Kurds have played a leading role.

In its statement, the United States urged both Baghdad and Erbil to remain focused on fighting the Islamic State.

Updated Date: Sep 30, 2017 14:51 PM

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