State Department Will Not Recognize Kurdish Independence

Posted: Sep 29, 2017 4:15 PM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that the United States will not recognize Kurdistan's independence. On Monday, Kurdistan's Regional Government held a referendum and voted overwhelmingly for their independence, with about 92 percent of people in favor. 

Kurdistan is a autonomous region in northern Iraq. 

A statement from the State Department said that the election was not legitimate, and that the United States will "continue to support a united, federal, democratic, and prosperous Iraq." Tillerson urged Iraqi Kurdish authorities to respect Iraq's central government.

The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.

We remain concerned about the potential negative consequences of this unilateral step. Prior to the vote, we worked with both the KRG and the central government in Baghdad to pursue a more productive framework and to promote stability and prosperity for the people ?of the Kurdistan region. These aspirations, ultimately, cannot be advanced through unilateral measures such as this referendum.

We urge calm and an end to vocal recriminations and threats of reciprocal actions. We urge Iraqi Kurdish authorities to respect the constitutionally-mandated role of the central government and we call upon the central government to reject threats or even allusion to possible use of force. The United States asks all parties, including Iraq’s neighbors, to reject unilateral actions and the use of force.