Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani on Saturday pledged support for the Kurdish minority in Syria, where government forces are pursuing a bloody crackdown on a more-than-10-month uprising.
"We will support the decisions to be taken by the Syrian Kurds on condition they demonstrate unity," Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, told a conference of Syrian Kurds in the Iraqi Kurdish capital Erbil, dpa reported.
He added that more than 2 million Kurds lived in Syria.
"We want to know their future. The situation in Syria is of strategic importance to us, given that Syria and Iraq share a long border," Barzani was quoted as saying by the Iraqi News Agency Al Bughdadia.
More than 200 Syrian Kurds living in exile are attending the conference that ends on Sunday.
Kurds, who are Syria's largest ethnic minority, make up around 9 per cent of the population. They have long complained of discrimination.