“If we are asked to assist in any way – look, we’re friends with the Kurds; we are friends with the central government of Iraq." Heather Nauert said.
WASHINGTON DC—US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert says that the United States is against any violence breaking out as a result of disagreements between Baghdad and Erbil as after Monday’s independence referendum and that the US remains friends with the Kurds.
Responding to a question from Rudaw’s Namo Abdulla, Nauert said: “We would oppose any violence if that were to take place. I hope our voice would be heard in a very strong fashion that we oppose violence on any side of this.”
Nauret went on to say that despite the US opposition to the Kurdish referendum, now “We want Kurdistan – we want the Kurds, we want Iraq – the central government of Iraq to remain focused on the fight against ISIS. We have concerns that this will take the focus off the fight against ISIS.”
She added that any steps that may lead to more instability must be avoided.
“That being said, I want to be very cautious about inflaming tensions. We understand the concerns that many in the region have, and the United States Government doesn’t want to do anything to inflame tensions in that arena. We want to avoid anything that would contribute to any additional instability.”
Nauert said that the US has not remained silent and that they have spoken to both Iraqi and Kurdish leaders on the situation.
“If we are asked to assist in any way – look, we’re friends with the Kurds; we are friends with the central government of Iraq. We have fought – our American forces have fought side by side with your folks, okay? We want to have a stable, unified Iraq. We want that more than anything. We want ISIS out of Iraq. We want to see them decimated and to never wreak terror on your communities again.” Nauert said.
Since Monday’s referendum and the results that showed a 92.7 percent vote in favour of independence many countries especially Iraq and Turkey have threatened the Kurdistan Region with sanctions.
Iraq has vowed to block all land and air traffic to and from the Region, starting with a flight ban on Friday evening.