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Kurdish Regional Gov’t Willing To Hold Talks with Iraqi Officials Over Existing Row
Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] expressed willingness to hold negotiations with the Iraqi government regarding their dispute over the restrictions that Baghdad has imposed on the semi-autonomous region.
In a statement issued overnight, the KRG said it is willing to discuss its dispute with Baghdad over Kurdish airports, border posts and banks, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Iraqi website NRT also reported Thursday that the road connecting the Kurdistan region with Nineveh Province has been blocked by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
"The two main roads connecting Erbil and Dohuk to Mosul were cut off on Thursday with sand embankments as a precautionary measure after we detected an increase in deployments and movements of Iraqi forces near the front line with the Peshmerga" AFP quoted a Kurdish official as saying.
The move came as Kurdish authorities claimed late on Wednesday they feared Iraqi government forces and allied paramilitary units were preparing to launch an assault on the region.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government spokesman rejected speculations about Iraq's alleged plans to invade the Kurdistan region, saying Baghdad will only fight Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL'] Takfiri terrorists.
Relatively, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reaffirmed the country's determination to protect its Kurdish population against any threats amid the ongoing tensions.
Tensions have been running high between Iraq's Kurds and central authorities in the wake of last month's Kurdish independence referendum.
Much of the international community has been vocally critical of the referendum.
Kurdish officials claim that over 90 percent of the voters in the semi-autonomous region have said ‘Yes' to separation from Iraq.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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