2017-09-18 17:33:00

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Sunday that a planned Sept. 25 independence referendum in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region “would detract from the need to defeat” Islamic State and to reconstruct regained territories.

“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,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General calls upon the leaders across Iraq to approach this matter with patience and restraint,” he said.