Tillerson: U.S. ‘Does Not Recognize’ Kurdish Referendum Results

The United States does not officially recognize the Kurdish people’s referendum for independence from Iraq, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on Friday. “The vote and the results lack legitimacy,” the statement read, “and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.” Tillerson additionally decried the “unilateral” nature of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s referendum, and urged Iraqi Kurdish officials 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.” Tillerson also called upon neighboring countries, such as Turkey (though unnamed here), to resist any “unilateral actions and the use of force.” The secretary concluded: “We encourage all sides to engage constructively in a dialogue to improve the future of all Iraqis.”