September 26, 2017 / 11:03 AM / a year ago

Kremlin, after Kurdish vote, says supports integrity of regional states

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Tuesday signaled its opposition to Kurdish-held parts of northern Iraq breaking away, saying Moscow backed the territorial integrity of countries in the region.

The comments were the Kremlin’s first reaction after an independence referendum in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region showed strong support for a split.

“We still believe that preserving the territorial and political integrity of the regional states is crucial for keeping stability and security in the region and for the settlement of the many critical problems this region has,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

Peskov also confirmed that Russian President Vladimir had discussed the referendum in phone conversations with the leaders of Turkey and Iran on Monday.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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