Germany against Kurds forming independent state
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Germany against Kurds forming independent state

Berlin asserts that granting ethnic minority sovereignty in northern Iraq will only further tensions in region

Iraqi Kurdish protesters wave flags of their autonomous Kurdistan region during a demonstration to claim for its independence on July 3, 2014, outside the Kurdistan parliament building in Arbil, in northern Iraq. (photo credit: AFP/Safin Hamed)
Iraqi Kurdish protesters wave flags of their autonomous Kurdistan region during a demonstration to claim for its independence on July 3, 2014, outside the Kurdistan parliament building in Arbil, in northern Iraq. (photo credit: AFP/Safin Hamed)

BERLIN — Germany is opposed to the formation of an independent state by Iraq’s Kurds, who are currently battling Islamic State jihadists with Western help, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Sunday.

“An independent Kurdish state would further destabilize the region and trigger new tensions, maybe with the neighboring Iraqi state as well,” he told the Bild newspaper in an interview.

The aim, he added, “was to manage to preserve Iraq’s territorial integrity”.

Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, is already an autonomous region. Its fighters are being backed by US air power and Western arms deliveries in the fight against Islamic State jihadists.

Steinmeier, who returned from the region on Saturday, welcomed the looming change of government in Baghdad as “maybe the last chance for the unity of the Iraqi state”.

Another German news publication, Der Spiegel, cited government sources as saying Germany was ready to back an international military intervention in northern Iraq, but only under the aegis of the United Nations.

So far, no such UN authorization has been given, though the Security Council has adopted a resolution aimed at squeezing the Islamic State.

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