Situation Near Kirkuk, Iraq
October 20, 2017
The United States is concerned by reports of violent clashes around the town of Altun Kupri in northern Iraq. We are monitoring the situation closely, and call on all parties to cease all violence and provocative movements, and to coordinate their activities to restore calm.
In order to avoid any misunderstandings or further clashes, we urge the central government to calm the situation by limiting federal forces' movements in disputed areas to only those coordinated with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We are encouraged by Prime Minister Abadi's instructions to federal forces to protect Iraqi Kurdish citizens and to not provoke conflict.
The reassertion of federal authority over disputed areas in no way changes their status – they remain disputed until their status is resolved in accordance with the Iraqi constitution. Until parties reach a resolution, we urge them to fully coordinate security and administration of these areas. To that end, all parties should engage in dialogue now on the basis of the Iraqi constitution, as Prime Minister Abadi offered and the Kurdistan Regional Government accepted publicly.
The United States remains committed to a united, stable, democratic, and federal Iraq, and committed to the Kurdistan Regional Government as an integral component of the country. We will continue working with officials from the central and regional governments to reduce tensions, avoid further clashes, and encourage dialogue.
We also remain determined to finish the fight against ISIS in Iraq and call on the Iraqi Government to redouble its efforts with the Global Coalition until that task is done.
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