Iran on Wednesday criticized northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) for its controversial attempt to print a commemorative stamp to mark a visit by Pope Francis.
“What has been published by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Iraq in general, is against international laws and principles,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted by the IRNA official news agency.
He said that Iraq should immediately reverse “this unfriendly action.”
Earlier Wednesday, Turkey strongly criticized the KRG for the controversy involving stamps that included Turkish provinces.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that one of the commemorative stamps that is planned to be printed depicts a map that includes Turkish provinces and demanded that KRG officials "immediately reverse the grave mistake."
KRG in northern Iraq said late Wednesday that it did not allow the proposed stamp samples to be printed.
KRG spokesman Jotyar Adel told reporters that artists submitted samples of proposed designs to be printed for Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq earlier this month.
He said none of the models have been approved and noted that "the design that will be approved for printing will be in accordance with the Constitution and the law."
The pope’s four-day historic visit from March 5 to 8 covered five Iraqi cities, including Baghdad, Erbil, Mosul, Najaf and Nasiriyah.
It was the first-ever papal visit to Iraq and the pontiff's first foreign tour since the global outbreak of the coronavirus in December 2019.
Francis held a historic meeting on Saturday with Al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shia cleric, in Najaf.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.