Iraq is faced with the question of keeping the country together, after Kurds in the north of the country voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence. But Iraq's central government in Baghdad refuses to respect the result.
Iraq's Supreme Court has ruled that the constitution does not allow any region to secede. The declaration comes a month after the northern Kurdish region overwhelmingly voted for independence in a disputed referendum.
President Emmanuel Macron has called on the Iraqi government to engage in "constructive national dialogue" after his meeting with Iraqi Kurd leaders. Macron vowed to preserve the rights of the Kurdish people.
Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region within Iraq, yet many Kurds are pushing for the creation and recognition of an independent Kurdistan. A recent independence referendum has led to crackdowns by Baghdad.
Kurdish authorities have accused Baghdad of undermining attempts to reach a deal on disputed areas and borders. Once unified in their fight against the "Islamic State," the Kurds feel betrayed by the central government.
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