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Kurds in Iraq Offer to Suspend Independence Effort

Kurds in Iraq Offer to Suspend Independence Effort”

Fish-Khabur is strategically vital because oil from both Kurdish and government-held parts of northern Iraq cross at a pipeline there into Turkey, the main route out of the area for global export, crucial for any Kurdish independence bid.

On Wednesday, the KRG - fearing more military escalations by Baghdad - offered to "suspend" the results of last month's unconstitutional poll, halt all military activity, and enter into talks with the central government.

The Bashmagh crossing lies on the road to the city of Sulaimaniyah in the south of the autonomous region, a bastion of opposition to Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani, who called the September 25 independence referendum. It launched an offensive to seize the oil-producing area of Kirkuk.

"We are here with a ministerial delegation in order to enhance relations in all fields, including the economy, trade, oil, energy, water, and also cultural cooperation, in addition to political and security cooperation", Abadi added.

The KRG proposed an immediate ceasefire and a suspension of the referendum result.

"Beginning an open dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government on the basis of the Iraqi constitution".

An Iraqi military spokesman denied there had been any clashes in the area.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has hinted that his government wants to take control of revenue generated from Kurdish oil exports, following the controversial ban on global flights to and from the Kurdistan Region.

Iraqi forces on Wednesday restored the Rabia border crossing with Syria following the withdrawal of PKK/PYD terrorists from the area, according to an Iraqi military source, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency. He also ordered the Iraqi army to capture all disputed territory and demanded control of Iraq's border crossings with Turkey.

Fighting between Iraqi forces, Shia militias and the Peshmerga erupted on the border on Tuesday morning. It is home to a pipeline for oil exports from northern Iraq to Turkey. The U.S. began providing military support and training to both sides after the war in Iraq and during the fight against Islamic State militants. Control of the area is important to any move toward Kurdish independence.



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