Iran's Rouhani vows to back Iraq's integrity

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TEHRAN,  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said here Sunday that the Islamic republic backs a "united and integrated" Iraq, state TV reported. 
"All the regional countries and ethnic groups are duty-bound to defend a federal administration (in Iraq) and help secure border demarcations in the region," said Rouhani at a Sunday meeting with Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). 
"Extra-regional powers and forces do not and will not feel any sympathy for people of the region," he said, adding that foreign powers' intervention aims to deal a blow to regional stability and security. 
"Extra-regional powers and forces only think about achieving their own long-term goals," he said. 
Barzani said Iraqi Kurds want a "unified Iraq," and all sides should remain committed to the Arab country's constitution and pursue their demands through legal channels. 
In September 2017, Iraq's Kurdistan semi-autonomous region held an independence referendum; however, the central government rejected the results and adopted punitive measures against them. Enditem 



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