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Old 04-19-2007   #4
Jedburgh
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ICG, 19 Apr 07: Iraq and the Kurds: Resolving the Kirkuk Crisis
Quote:
....The U.S. needs to recognise the risk of an explosion in Kirkuk and press the Kurds, the Baghdad government and Turkey alike to adjust policies and facilitate a peaceful settlement.

The studied bystander mode assumed by Washington, the Kurds’ sole ally, has not been helpful. Preoccupied with their attempt to save Iraq by implementing a new security plan in Baghdad, the Bush administration has left the looming Kirkuk crisis to the side. This neglect can cost the U.S. severely. If the referendum is held later this year over the objections of the other communities, the civil war is very likely to spread to Kirkuk and the Kurdish region, until now Iraq’s only area of quiet and progress. If the referendum is postponed without a viable facesaving alternative for the Kurds, their leaders may withdraw from the Maliki cabinet and thus precipitate a governmental crisis in Baghdad just when the security plan is, in theory, supposed to yield its political returns....
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