US State Department confirmed in a statement that the US’s first priority in Iraq is to defeat ISIS terrorists, achievie the stability and security, and the return of the displaced people to their residences, NRt news reported.
“The US continues to believe in a stable, prosperous, unified, and democratic Iraq,” the statement noted. “The Iraqi Kurdish referendum, even a non-binding one, would distract from more urgent priorities, such as totally defeating ISIS, and risks de stabilizing the country.”
Masoud Barzani said in a column, first published earlier this week by the Washington Post, that the referendum “will resolve a conflict as old as the Iraqi state itself between the aspirations of the Kurdish people and a government in Baghdad that has long treated Kurds as less than full citizens of the country.”
The Kurdistan Region declared on June 7 a plan to hold a referendum on the region’s independence later this year on September 25.
The decision has concerned Iraq, the US, Britain, Russia, Germany, Turkey and Iran.
US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert expressed on June 8 her country’s concern over the referendum decision, saying that the US supports a unified, stable, democratic and federal Iraq.
The Government of Iraq has also shown a stance against any move from the Kurds towards a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on June 8 that he was concerned that a move by the Kurdistan Region to declare independence could lead to an escalation of tensions in Iraq.