Washington, DC - Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson: "The United States does not recognize the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unilateral referendum held on Monday.
"The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.
"We remain concerned about the potential negative consequences of this unilateral step. 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.
"We urge calm and an end to vocal recriminations and threats of reciprocal actions. We urge Iraqi Kurdish authorities to respect the constitutionally-mandated role of the central government and we call upon the central government to reject threats or even allusion to possible use of force. The United States asks all parties, including Iraq’s neighbors, to reject 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. We urge our Iraqi partners to remain focused on defeating ISIS/Daesh.
"We encourage all sides to engage constructively in a dialogue to improve the future of all Iraqis."