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Tillerson urges Iraq, Kurds to resolve growing conflict

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 00:58

The U.S. is ''concerned and saddened'' by the heightening tensions between the Kurds and the Iraqi government, says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, urged the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan regional government on Monday (October 23) to resolve their conflict over Kurdish self-determination and disputed territories through dialogue. Tillerson laid out his position at the start of a meeting in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, who in turn defended the role of an Iraqi paramilitary force backed by Iran. The U.S. administration sided with Abadi in rejecting the validity of the referendum held last month in the Kurdish region, which produced an overwhelming 'yes' for Kurdish independence. The administration called on the two sides to avoid further escalation, after Abadi retaliated against the vote by isolating the Kurdistan region and ordering his troops to seize the oil city of Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters. It was Tillerson's second meeting with Abadi in as many days. After Sunday's meeting (October 22), alongside Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Tillerson said it was time for Iranian-backed militias that had helped Baghdad defeat Islamic State to "go home".

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Tillerson urges Iraq, Kurds to resolve growing conflict

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 00:58