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UN Security Council warns Iraqi Kurd vote ‘potentially destabilizing’

Published: Updated:

The UN Security Council on Thursday warned that a referendum on independence by Iraq’s Kurdistan region was potentially destabilizing and urged dialogue.

In a unanimous statement, the 15-member council said the referendum planned for Monday could hinder efforts to help refugees return home.

The United States also opposes the referendum, warning that it may not be able to help Iraq’s Kurds negotiate a better deal with Baghdad if they go ahead with the vote.

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Iraq held a rare trilateral meeting Wednesday in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, days ahead of the non-binding September 25 referendum.

The ministers also called the planned vote “unconstitutional”, saying it ran the risk of provoking new conflicts in the region, and would “not be beneficial” for the Kurds of Iraq. They also said the referendum would put Iraq’s hard-earned gains against ISIS militants “under great risk”.