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MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/. Iraqi Kurds and Baghdad should iron out key issues through dialogue to develop a formula for co-existence in a unified state, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in comments on the September 25 referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence.
"Moscow respects national aspirations of Kurds," the ministry said in a statement. "We believe that all points at issue between Iraq’s federal authorities and the leadership of the Kurdish Autonomous Region may and should be solved through a constructive and respectful dialogue aimed at developing a mutually acceptable formula of co-existence as part of a unified Iraqi state."
"We maintain our support for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of our friendly state of Iraq and other countries of the Middle East," the ministry stressed.
The ministry stresses that it is of key importance now to "avoid everything that poses the risk of further complicating and destabilizing the Middle East region, which is already overburdened with conflicts."
Iraq’s Kurdistan region held the independence referendum on Monday. According to the Rudaw TV channel, more than 90% of 3.44 million Iraqis voted for creating an independent state. The official results will be announced on Thursday.
Baghdad strongly opposes the referendum, calling it unconstitutional. Turkey and Iran were also against it, favoring the Arab country’s integrity. Washington and some other EU states also believe the referendum is inexpedient at the moment, as it undermines efforts in the war on terror and regional security.
The Kurdistan Region of Iraq, also known as Iraqi Kurdistan, is an autonomous region in the north of Iraq, with its legal status fixed in the Iraqi constitution of 2005.