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Artsakh Welcomes Iraqi Kurdistan Referendum

STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (A.W.)—The Information and Public Relations Department of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Artsakh released a short statement on Sept. 27 welcoming the Sept. 25 independence referendum held in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iraqi Kurdistan on the eve of the independence referendum (Photo: Sputnik International)

“We welcome the holding of a referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan as an act of realization of the right of peoples to self-determination and independently choosing their own path of development enshrined in the UN Charter and in a number of fundamental international documents,” read a part of the statement.

The statement went on to say that Artsakh Foreign Ministry hopes that the situation that has developed as a result of the referendum will be settled by peaceful means and stressed the importance of maintaining stability and security in the region.

More than 92 percent of voters in Monday’s referendum voted for Kurdish independence according to the electoral commission in charge of the vote. Out of 3,085,935 valid ballots, 2,861,471 votes were for independence and 224,464 were against. The electoral commission also announced that 79,379 votes were voided and a further 170,611 were disregarded after reviewing complaints.

Accoridng to preliminary figures, turnout was more than 72 percent among those eligible to vote.

Kurdish leaders announced that the “Yes” vote will give them a mandate to start negotiations on secession with the Iraqi government in Baghdad and with neighboring states.

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