President of Iraq's Kurdish Region Resigns

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Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday evening announced that government forces had secured all parts of Iraq "disputed" between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). Disputes between the KRG and the Baghdad federal government range from the perennial tussle over how to share oil revenues to the control of territory and border crossings.

It urged Iraq and the KRG "to work urgently to resolve pending issues under the Iraqi constitution".

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.

He also lambasted rival Kurdish political parties and said they were guilty of "treason", referring to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a party that opponents say struck a deal with Baghdad to withdraw Kurdish forces from the disputed oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Abadi has won backing from both Tehran and Ankara for his moves against the Kurds.

"As a Peshmerga, I will continue to be at the service of our people".

He said "strong KRG is essential to Iraqi long-term stability and to enduring defeat of Islamic State".

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Abdul Wahab Mohammed, who heads the Kurdish border intelligence, says "no Iraqis have entered or taken over" the Ibrahim Khalil crossing.

Zebari, the Kurdish government adviser, said the Kurds were prepared to accept "Iraqis at the airports and border posts to have oversight, to make sure everyone is in compliance", but any such presence must be achieved through negotiations, not force. The United States had urged the Kurds not to hold the referendum, anxious it would precipitate a backlash.

"They (Baghdad) used the referendum as an excuse".

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 United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on Monday urged Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to seek a quick and peaceful resolution to the current tensions.

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