The European Union is discouraging Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region from holding an independence referendum in September. EU foreign ministers said in a statement today "that unilateral steps must be avoided, and that all open questions must be resolved through consensual positions" based on Iraq's constitution. The ministers did not explicitly mention the planned September 25 poll, but they did urge all parties in Iraq's northern Kurdish region to "seek common ground" and consider holding regional elections. The United Nations warned last week that it would not be "engaged in any way or form" in the referendum process.
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