Iraq's KRG says respects court ruling banning secession

A boy rides a bicycle with the flag of Kurdistan in Tuz Khurmato Iraq

A boy rides a bicycle with the flag of Kurdistan in Tuz Khurmato Iraq

Iraqi Kurds cast their votes in historic referendum.

Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said Tuesday it would respect a court ruling prohibiting the Kurdish region from secession.

The ruling responded to a request from the Iraqi government in Baghdad to put an end to any "misinterpretation" of the constitution and to "assert the unity of Iraq", a court spokesman said last week.

"We believe that this decision must become a basis for starting an inclusive national dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes through implementation of all constitutional articles and in a way that guarantees all rights, authorities and status mentioned in the Constitution", the KRG said in the statement.

His remarks came during a meeting between al-Abadi and the head of the United Nations mission in Iraq, Jan Kubis.

More than 90 percent of voters approved independence in the non-binding referendum, which was rejected by Iraq's central government and its neighbors.

The concession over the court ruling marks the Kurds' latest attempt to revive negotiations with the central government, which imposed retaliatory measures following the independence vote.

In the weeks following the poll, Iraqi government forces moved into several parts of the country "disputed" between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.