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Iraq’s Kurdistan says respects secession ban ruling

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) says it abides by a recent top court ruling that bans any secession from the mainland, expressing hope that the decision will set the stage for dialog between Baghdad and Erbil.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the KRG conceded that it would respect the November 6 Supreme Federal Court order that stated no region or province could break away from Iraq.

“We believe that this decision must become a basis for starting an inclusive national dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes through implementation of all constitutional articles and in a way that guarantees all rights, authorities and status mentioned in the constitution,” the statement read.

The court ruling came in response to a request from the central government in Baghdad to end any “wrong misinterpretation” of the Iraqi constitution and assert the country’s unity.

It followed a controversial referendum on the secession of the Kurdish region, which was held on September 25 in defiance of strong objection from both Baghdad and Iraq’s neighbors, particularly Iran and Turkey.

The plebiscite sparked tensions between the KRG and Baghdad, with the Iraqi army conducting a military campaign to retake the areas overrun by the Kurdish militants in the course of the fight with the Daesh terrorist group.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had previously called on the Kurdish region to honor the court ruling.

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