White House Calls Referendum on Kurdistan Independence 'Provocative'

White House Calls Referendum on Kurdistan Independence 'Provocative'

The White House issued a statement on Friday (September 15) reiterating the U.S. position against plans by the Kurdish authorities towards an independent state in northern Iraq.

“The United States does not support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s intention to hold a referendum later this month,” the White House statement read.

The White House expressed warning that the referendum on the Kurdistan independence that set to be held on Sept. 25 could hinder efforts to dislodge Islamic State (ISIS) and stabilize post-ISIS Iraq.

The United States urged the Kurdistan Region to reverse the referendum decision and start serious and sustained dialogue with the central government, saying it is prepared to facilitate.

“Holding the referendum in disputed areas is particularly provocative and destabilizing,” the statement continued.

Masoud Barzani announced on Friday (September 15) that the Kurdistan Region will maintain a plan to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25.

The United States and Western nations fear the referendum could lead to conflicts with Baghdad and neighboring Turkey and Iran, which host sizeable Kurdish populations, diverting attention from the fight against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.