UN says won’t play a part in Iraqi Kurdish referendum

A man holds the Kurdish flag on September 4, 2011 during a demonstration in Stockholm against operations by Iran and Turkey against Kurdish separatist rebels in Iraq. AFP PHOTO /JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

(Reuters) The United Nations said on Thursday it will not have a role in the Iraqi Kurdish referendum on independence planned to be held in September.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement released on Thursday that “it has no intention to be engaged in any way or form as concerns the referendum, to be held on 25 September”.

Iraq’s Kurds said the referendum on independence will go ahead despite warnings from western powers that a vote in favor of secession could trigger conflict with Baghdad at a time when the war against Islamic State is not yet won.

The Kurds are playing a major role in the U.S.-backed campaign to defeat Islamic State (IS), the ultra-hardline Sunni Islamist group that overran about a third of Iraq three years ago and also controls parts of Syria.

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