The prime minister of Iraq's northern Kurdish region says the referendum on independence that is underway there doesn't mean "redrawing borders" and will not result in immediate independence.
Nechirvan Barzani says that even if the result of the vote is a "yes," the region will resolve its disputes with Baghdad peacefully. He spoke at a press conference on Monday morning in Irabil, the Kurdish regional capital.
Voting is taking place across the region and in disputed territories claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
The referendum on independence, while non-binding, has strained tensions with Baghdad and regional powers. The United States has come out strongly opposed to the move, cautioning that it could distract from the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group.