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Iraqi Kurdish opposition parties report attacks on offices

Iraqi Kurdish opposition parties report attacks on offices”

Also on Monday, Iran said it would reopen all of its border crossings with the Iraqi Kurdistan region in the coming days, lifting restrictions imposed after the independence referendum.

He asked lawmakers to dissolve the position of the president and distribute its duties among the Kurdish prime minister, parliament and the judiciary.

The United States also welcomes the recent decision from Iraqi Prime Minister Gaider al-Abadi to begin a new dialogue with the KRG.

As members of the parliament debated whether to approve Mr Barzani's request, men armed with sticks stormed the building in Irbil where they were meeting. The autonomous Kurdish Regional Government has faced strong criticism after it held an independence referendum last month.

The men - reportedly KDP supporters angered by comments made earlier that day by Gorran MP Rabun Maroof about the president and the Peshmerga - attacked local journalists and trapped lawmakers inside until local police, known as the Asayesh, fired into the air to disperse them.

The vote followed Barzani's announcement that he would not run in upcoming KRG presidential elections, which were recently postponed from November 1 to July 1.

"I encouraged both [PM Barzani and Abadi] to continue to de-escalate the situation on the ground in Iraq and to avoid misunderstandings that could lead to conflict", Johnson said. This decision represents an act of statesmanship during a hard period. The development comes roughly six weeks after Iraqi Kurds voted on a controversial independence referendum that Mr. Barzani had championed.

Despite his resignation on Sunday, the former president - who has been at the forefront of Kurdish independence efforts for decades and the KRG president for 12 years - is expected to remain a senior political figure.

While the referendum passed, it resulted in tumult and triggered swift military and economic retaliation by Iraq's central government in Baghdad.

Abadi said he would accept only an annulment of the referendum and respect for the country's constitution.

Mr Abadi insisted that the vote was unconstitutional and ordered pro-government forces to retake disputed areas held by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters since 2014, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, sparking clashes that left dozens dead.

"Barzani is saying he doesn't want the presidency to exist anymore, and to create a new constitutional arrangement in a few days - that's actually a lot of work", Ali said in a phone interview.



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