The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General believes that any unilateral decision to hold a referendum at this time would detract from the need to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), as well as the much-needed reconstruction of the regained territories and the facilitation of a safe, voluntary and dignified return of the more than 3 million refugees and internally displaced people.
The Secretary-General respects the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Iraq and considers that all outstanding issues between the federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government should be resolved through structured dialogue and constructive compromise.
The Secretary-General calls upon the leaders across Iraq to approach this matter with patience and restraint. The United Nations stands ready to support such efforts.