The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has “reaffirmed” support for Iraq’s territorial integrity amid tensions between the central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the wake of a highly controversial referendum the semi-autonomous region held last month in open defiance of Baghdad.
According to Press TV, French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre made the remarks during a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, calling on Baghdad and Kurdish leaders to hold talks.
“Council members called on all sides to refrain from the threat and use of force and to engage in constructive dialogue facilitated by the United Nations upon request as a pathway to de-escalation and a means to preserve Iraqi unity,” he said.
Delattre further noted that both Baghdad and Erbil had already expressed their “willingness” to sit at the negotiating table to resolve their differences, adding that the council members encouraged both sides to “expeditiously set a timetable to hold these discussions.”
He went on to say that the UNSC had once again affirmed “the importance of remaining focused on efforts to defeat” the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which has came to its final days in the Middle Eastern country.
Iraq, along with neighbors Iran and Turkey, opposed the September 25 vote, warning that the referendum would further complicate the security situation in the Arab country that has been grappling with foreign-backed militancy in its north and west for the past three years.
Following the vote, the central government in Baghdad shut down flights in and out of the region and ordered a halt to its independent crude oil sales.