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Britain's Hammond Sees Scotland Referendum as 'Model' for Iraq

Britain's Hammond Sees Scotland Referendum as 'Model' for Iraq

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Britain’s foreign secretary said Monday in Baghdad he hoped Scotland’s decision to remain in the United Kingdom would inspire Iraqis to remain united.

Scotland voted to reject independence last month after a close referendum campaign in which it had looked like the “Yes” camp could snatch a surprise victory.

Many Iraqis in the northern autonomous region of Kurdistan — whose president has vowed to hold a referendum on self-determination — followed the campaign keenly.

With Iraq on the brink of collapse since the Islamic State jihadist group launched a devastating offensive in June, the idea of a breakup has gained traction, especially in overwhelmingly separatist Kurdistan.

The foreign secretary also met Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and several other senior officials during his one-day trip.

Amid growing concern that Iraqi forces are unable to turn the tide on jihadist expansion despite foreign air strikes, Hammond reiterated Britain’s support but ruled out a ground intervention.


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