Kerry in Kurdistan to Urge Leaders to be Part of National Government

Kerry in Kurdistan to Urge Leaders to be Part of National Government

(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Iraqi Kurdistan on Tuesday to urge its leaders not to withdraw from the political process in Baghdad after their forces took control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

Peshmerga fighters, the security forces of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north, seized control of Kirkuk on June 12 after the Iraqi military fled in the face of an onslaught from Sunni militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Kurds have long dreamed of taking Kirkuk, a city with huge oil reserves just outside the autonomous region, which they regard as their historical capital.

If they hold onto Kirkuk, revenues from its major oilfields could far surpass any budget offer from Baghdad, boosting its ambition of succeeding as a fully independent state.

Read the full story at Reuters.


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