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Lavrov slams attempts to use Kurds in geopolitical game

Russia welcomes the recent contacts between Baghdad and Erbil

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russia supports the Kurds’ desire to live in accordance with their traditions, but this is wrong when these aspirations are used in a geopolitical game, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the opening of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s conference "Russia in the Middle East: Playing on All Fields."

"We fully support legitimate aspirations of the Kurdish people to live in accordance with their customs, traditions and their centuries-long glorious history," Lavrov said. "At the same time, we believe this is wrong that these aspirations of the Kurdish people are used by some persons for their geopolitical goals, which neither have any relation to the interests of the Kurds nor the interests of regional security."

"Now we are observing the attempt of involving the Kurds in a game that contradicts their interests. We call on everyone, who is involved in these processes, to stop and start agreeing based on the balance of interests rather than on the basis of a wish to outperform someone speculating on the Kurdish aspirations," Lavrov said.

In his turn, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed sympathy with the Kurdish people. "Unfortunately, we see short-sighted attempts of the United States to play geopolitical games that harm the Kurds.".