US State Department urges Kurdish parties to work for united Iraq

Mr Barzani will step down next month leaving the region’s leadership in limbo until an election next July

Mr Barzani will step down next month leaving the region’s leadership in limbo until an election next JulyAlamy

And the suspension of the presidency, said Zaid Ali, author of "The Struggle for Iraq's Future", has created an impossible task for Kurdish lawmakers.

Tehran already reopened the Bashmagh crossing last week.

A strong KRG is essential to the Iraqi long-term stability and to the enduring defeat of the Islamic State (IS), said Nauert on Monday, urging all Kurdish parties to support the KRG to resolve pending issues over the remainder of its term and prepare for elections in 2018, Xinhua news agency reported.

Turkish Army vehicles are driven away on a convoy at the Habur/Ibrahim Khalil border crossing with Iraq, near Silopi, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017.

The Habur border gate is in Turkish hands, while the Ibrahim Khalil gate on the Iraq side is in the control of Iraqi authorities, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim announced.

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The balance of power between Iraqi central government forces and the autonomous Kurdish region has been transformed since the Kurds staged their referendum on September 25.

The region's airspace was closed to global commercial flights, Turkey threatened the use of military force, and both Iran and Turkey threatened to close border crossings vital to the landlocked region.

Yet, less than a month later, Kurds found themselves without about 40 percent of the territory they previously held as they withdrew from areas being disputed with Baghdad. The United States had urged the Kurds not to hold the referendum, anxious it would precipitate a backlash.

The leader of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region is stepping down after a failed push for independence.

In his statement, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the central government is closely monitoring what he described as "attempts to create chaos and disorder" in Irbil and Dahuk, two cities in the Kurdish region.

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