Iraqi Kurdish authorities said on Tuesday they would accept a court decision prohibiting the region from seceding, signalling a new phase in efforts to restart stalled negotiations over its future.

Iraq’s Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum in September, defying the central government in Baghdad – which had ruled the ballot illegal – as well as neighbouring Turkey and Iran which have their own Kurdish minorities.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Tuesday it would respect the 6 November ruling by the Supreme Federal Court, which declared that no Iraqi province could secede.

“We believe that this decision must become a basis for starting an inclusive national dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes,” the KRG said in a statement.

“We strive for peace and we believe our rights must be safeguarded, as it is stated in the Constitution.  To reach a comprehensive agreement, we call for constructive and genuine negotiations in order to build a secure future for all Iraqis.


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