Rudaw reports: When the US delegation that was arriving in Baghdad asked Iraqi Kurdistan’s top leaders to be there to meet with them, the Kurds reportedly refused.
In that rejection, and the reception they gave to Kerry in their own capital of Erbil on Tuesday, the Iraqi Kurds showcased their newfound confidence, strength and unity.
Knowing full well this was the last thing Washington’s top diplomat wanted to hear, the autonomous Kurdistan Region’s President Massoud Barzani brought up what his people wanted to talk about: independence.
Kerry was in Erbil to urge the Kurds to back the formation of a new, inclusive government in Baghdad, as insurgents that include the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) rack up stunning military victories against the Iraqi army and threaten to splinter Iraq.
Barzani told Kerry it could no longer be business as usual. “We are facing a new reality and a new Iraq.”
And while he did not reject Kerry’s request that the Kurds be part of a new, inclusive government in Baghdad, Barzani insisted that would have to be on Erbil’s terms. [Continue reading…]