Iraq premier urges calm in Kurdish area


Turkish and Iraqi troops, some holding their national flags, participate in a ceremony at the Habur/Ibrahim Khalil border crossing with Iraq, near Silopi, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017.

"Negotiations are still ongoing", said a Kurdish official in the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, Erbil. Disputes between the KRG and the Baghdad federal government range from the perennial tussle over how to share oil revenues to the control of territory and border crossings. An oil pipeline runs from northern Iraq into Turkey, carrying crude exports which are the principal source of funds for the Kurds.

"I want to pay tribute to [President] Barzani's leadership in that fight [against IS], to his years of service to the [Kurdish] people, and to the role he played in the formation of modern Iraq", the statement concluded.

Speaking to the media Monday, CHP Deputy Chairman Öztürk Yılmaz said: "We hope the KRG will arrange a new deal that respects the Iraqi constitution".

The split between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government is a particular challenge for Washington, which is closely allied to both sides.

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The decision comes just weeks after a referendum on independence, which was led by President Masoud Barzani. Masoud Barzani held the referendum "for his own pride".

The handing over of the crossing to the Iraqi authorities came after talks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to resolve the conflict between the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurds.

Yildirim said Turkey had agreed to open another border gate with Iraq as part of a route that would lead to the city of Tal Afar, some 40 km (25 miles) west of Mosul and home to a predominantly ethnic Turkmen population.

Overnight, offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the main opposition party, were set on fire in the town of Zakho, in Dohuk province near the Turkish and Syrian borders, according to opposition...

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