Masoud Barzani's resignation leads to Kurdish infighting

Iran Supreme Leader to Iraqi PM Don’t Trust America			The Associated Press		by Deborah Danan28 Oct 20170		28 Oct 2017		28 Oct 2017

Iran Supreme Leader to Iraqi PM Don’t Trust America The Associated Press by Deborah Danan28 Oct 20170 28 Oct 2017 28 Oct 2017

On Sunday, a large crowd of people - many of them firing shots in the air - stormed the Kurdish parliament building in Erbil, the administrative capital of northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

Kurdish president Masoud Barzani gives a televised speech in Erbil, announcing his intention to step down, on October 29, 2017.

"You should therefore meet at your earliest convenience to ensure there is no legal vacuum in the execution of the duties and powers of the president of the region", said Barzani in a letter he submitted to parliament before his address, according to a copy released online.

The United States also welcomes the recent decision from Iraqi Prime Minister Gaider al-Abadi to begin a new dialogue with the KRG.

The statement appeared to reflect a US belief that the departure of Barzani, whose September 25 independence referendum is widely seen has having backfired, may make it easier for the two main Kurdish factions to work together and to negotiate with the federal government led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

The Iraqi military and the Kurdish minority had been clashing for several weeks in mostly low-level firefights until Friday, when they agreed to a cease-fire, and Kurdish forces abandoned the land they held, largely without resistance.

On Monday, Mr Al Abadi called for calm in the Kurdish region after the reported violence the previous night.

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Last week, government forces moved into several parts of Iraq disputed between Baghdad and the KRG, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.

He said the central Iraqi government was closely monitoring what he described as "attempts to create chaos and disorder" in the Kurdish cities of Erbil and Dohuk.

She also hailed the decision of President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani not to seek another term.

The referendum, which garnered a 92.7% vote in favor of separation, was meant to advance the prospects of Kurdistan, the long-held dream of an independent Kurdish state on territories covering segments of northern Iraq.

The chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, Mohammad Baqeri, says the country will reopen all its border crossings with the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq in the "coming days".

The veteran guerrilla leader has run Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region since 2005, presiding with a firm hand as the region prospered while the rest of Iraq struggled in civil war.

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