Moscow wants intra-Iraqi problems to be settled through national accord, compromises - Lavrov
NEW YORK. Sept 22 (Interfax) - Moscow stands for internal problems of Iraq to be resolved on the basis of national accord and compromises, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari in New York.
Iraqi Kurdistan is expected to hold an independence referendum on September 25.
Russia is committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, and it wants any problems that emerge inside the country to be settled through dialogue, national accord and compromises and wants mutually acceptable solutions to be found, Lavrov said at the start of the meeting.
Al-Jaafari, for his part, said the Iraqi authorities pursue a very clear-cut stance as regards Kurdistan and want all issues to be resolved through dialogue without any problems and with respect toward Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Iraqi authorities achieved a great success several weeks ago, when Mosul was liberated, and all people, the Arabs, the Iraqi Turkmens and the Kurds, celebrated this victory together, he said. Certainly, the Kurds, who were subject to oppression under Saddam Hussein, have now sensed freedom and a taste for life, he said.
Lavrov also said that the fight against terrorism is the countries' shared priority. This fight is not over, and Russia will support the governments of Iraq and Syria in order to purge the region of terrorists.
Al-Jaafari said that Iraq is interested in further promoting cooperation between the countries, especially as the fight against Islamic State (ISIL) continues. Iraq attaches great importance to intelligence data, and it is very pleased to see Russia's stance in support of the Iraqi government in the crackdown on ISIL and greatly values it, the Iraqi minister said.
The Russian Supreme Court designated ISIL as a terrorist organization and banned its activities in Russia.