CAIRO, Egypt voiced on Thursday its serious concern over the possible repercussions of the self-determination referendum of Iraqi Kurdistan region, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Egypt’s concern is mainly based on its keenness on the unity and stability of Iraq and the ties of brotherliness and cohesion that connect all aspects of the Iraqi people,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in the statement.

The statement urged to consider the long-term consequences of the referendum on the stability and security of both Iraq and the Middle East region.

Abu Zeid stressed “the necessity to activate mechanisms that allow more dialogue between the central government in Baghdad and Kurdistan region over controversial issues in order to reach agreement that would maintain the unity of Iraq.”

Also on Thursday, Arab Parliament Speaker Mishaal al-Salami urged in a cable message Kurdish President Barzani to postpone the intended independence, stressing “the plebiscite should be replaced by dialogue.”

Earlier on June 7, President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on Sept. 25 on seeking independence of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region from Iraq.

The Cairo-based Arab League (AL) has previously expressed rejection of the referendum and AL chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit has recently visited both Baghdad and Erbil to urge for dialogue instead.