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Iran backs dialogue between Baghdad, Iraqi Kurdistan Autonomous Region

MOSCOW,  (Sputnik) – Tehran supports the negotiations between Iraq and the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan amid the latter’s plan to hold an independence referendum in September, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Tuesday.

“Tehran backs internal talks between Erbil and Baghdad in order to resolve issues,” Qassemi said as quoted by the Fars news agency.

Qassemi stressed the achievements of the Iraqi people in fighting terror and liberating the territories, which had been occupied by the Islamic State terror group (IS, banned in Russia).

The spokesman added that Iran was seeking the best-possible relations with all of Iraq’s political, social, ethnic and religious bodies.

On Monday, the High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHEC) of Iraqi Kurdistan approved September 25 as the date for the referendum on the region’s independence from Iraq.

On June 7, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, announced his intention to hold an independence referendum in late September. The decision has been sharply criticized by Baghdad.

Earlier in the day, Russian ambassador to Iraq Maksim Maksimov told Sputnik that Russia supported Iraq’s territorial integrity and called on Baghdad and Kurdistan’s government to begin a dialogue on all disputed topics, and agree on mutually acceptable principles and forms of coexistence.

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