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French Pres. urges Barzani to call off Kurdistan polls

IRBIL, Sept 21 (KUNA) -- French President Emmanuel Macron called on President Masoud Barzani, of Iraq's Kurdistan region, to back down on the plan to hold referendum on the region's independence, due on September 25.
During a phone conversation with Barzani, the French leader support to Iraq's unity and the rights of the Kurdish people under the constitution of Iraq, said a statement by Kurdistan Presidency on Thursday.
He stressed the need of giving up the referendum or at least putting it off, according to the statement.
Macron lauded the Kurdish role in the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS) and humanitarian aid to the internally displaced people.
On his part, President Barzani affirmed resolve to hold the referendum in time, highlighting the need of maintaining dialogue with the federal government in Baghdad. He thanked President Macron on France's constant support to Kurdistan region.
During their last visits to Irbil, the UN and Arab League General Secretaries general Antonio Guterres and Ahmad Abul-Gheit respectively, failed to convince the Kurdish leader of backing down on the controversial polls. (end) sbr.mmg.gb