The United States does not recognize the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement on Friday, September 29.
In his statement Mr. Tillerson reiterated that Washington continues to support a "united Iraq".
"The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq", Mr. Tillerson's statement read.
Elsewhere in the press release posted on the official website of the U.S. State Department, Rex Tillerson branded the Kurdish vote as "unilateral".
The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
"Prior to the vote, we worked with both the KRG and the central government in Baghdad to pursue a more productive framework and to promote stability and prosperity for the people of the Kurdistan region. These aspirations, ultimately, cannot be advanced through unilateral measures such as this referendum", Tillerson wrote.
Urging both sides to find a calm end to vocal recriminations and threats of reciprocal actions the head of U.S. diplomacy called on Iraqi Kurdish authorities to respect the constitutionally-mandated role of the central government.
Meanwhile Mr. Tillerson asked Baghdad to reject threats "or even allusion to possible use of force".
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also addressed Iraq’s neighbors, to refrain from what he called "unilateral actions and the use of force".
"The fight against ISIS/ Daesh is not over, and extremist groups are seeking to exploit instability and discord", Mr. Tillerson stated.
Amid mounting pressure on the Iraqi Kurdistan following the independence referendum, Iran, Iraq and Turkey conducted military exercises at the border to autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.