US lauds KRG's offer to halt military ops, begin talks

ANADOLU AGENCY
WASHINGTON
Published 26.10.2017 02:17

The U.S. on Wednesday announced its support to the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) offers to immediately halt military operations and start open dialogue.

"We welcome Kurdistan Regional Government statement declaring immediate ceasefire & halt to military ops. Calm and dialogue are steps forward," the State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in her tweet.

In a statement earlier the same day, the KRG proposed an immediate ceasefire, halt of all military operations and freezing the results of the referendum conducted in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"As Iraq and Kurdistan are faced with grave and dangerous circumstances, we are all obliged to act responsibly in order to prevent further violence and clashes between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces," it said.

"Clashes have caused damage to both sides and could lead to a continuous bloodshed, inflicting pain and social unrest among different components of Iraqi society," highlighting clashes between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces that erupted on Oct. 16.

"Certainly, continued fighting does not lead any side to victory, but it will drive the country towards disarray and chaos, affecting all aspects of life," it continued.

On Sept. 25, Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil -- voted on whether to declare independence from Iraq.

According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence.

The illegitimate referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, with many warning it would distract from Iraq's ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the already volatile region.

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