Abadi Calls for Calm in Kurdistan After Barzani Resignation

Aid group says Iraq fighting threatens access to Syria

"Three million votes for Kurdistan independence created history and can not be erased", Mr Barzani said, bitterly accusing his political rivals of "treason" for giving up the contested oil-rich city of Kirkuk to central government troops in the fighting sparked by the 25 September vote.

Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi has called for calm and avoiding chaos in Kurdistan Region as violence was reported following declaration by the region's president that he rejects a renewed tenure.

Abadi said he was following developments in the Kurdish area closely.

The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq said it had ordered the local police forces, known as Asayish, to stop the attacks.

Barzani's request, which was approved by the regional parliament late Sunday, was to distribute his presidential powers among the Kurdish prime minister, the Kurdish parliament and the judiciary.

Johnson welcomed the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani's decision not to extend his term, adding the choice offers "a new generation of Kurds" to lead Kurdistan. He appeared pleased with the security forces' quick victory over Kurdish Peshmerga in Kirkuk and emphasised that the central state will now seek to control all of Iraq's borders, as well as its oil pipelines.

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.

"The border restrictions between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan will be lifted in the coming days", the semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Baqeri as saying on October 30.

Baqeri also said if Kurdistan implemented its plan to break away from Iraq, "there would be bloodshed in Iraq and neighboring countries would be affected".

"This is an assault on freedom of press and expression", replied Erbil-based Kurdistan 24's management in a letter to the International Federation of Journalists. The referendum resulted in more than 92 percent of Iraqi Kurds choosing independence.

After Saddam's fall, Mr Barzani ran the Kurdish autonomous region while Talabani served as ceremonial president of all of Iraq in Baghdad from 2005 to 2014.



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