Kurdish leader: US must not pull out of Iraq, yet

March 20, 2007 17:39


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Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani described Iraq's situation as disastrous during a trip to Jordan on Tuesday and predicted it would worsen if US troops suddenly withdrew. Barzani, who is the head of the Kurdish Democratic Party, said Kurds would not participate in the sectarian fighting between Sunnis and Shiites plaguing much of Iraq, but signaled the possibility of Kurdish autonomy if the conflict continues and leads to the division of Iraq. Kurdistan is a semiautonomous region in northern Iraq that is ethnically and linguistically different from the rest of the country. Barzani is president of the region. "The current situation in Iraq is tragic and will get worse if the American troops suddenly pullout of Iraq," Barzani told a news conference on the third day of an official visit to Jordan. He said he wanted US troops out of Iraq, but stressed that could only happen once "Iraqi forces and the Iraqi government control Iraq and guarantee the security and the stability of the country."

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