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02:14, 17 January 2018 Wednesday
Update: 16:29, 30 October 2017 Monday

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Turkish opposition party hopes for improvement in Erbil
Turkish opposition party hopes for improvement in Erbil

CHP deputy chairman says now that regional government President Barzani is on his way out, Turkey wants 'new beginning'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) hopes for normalization in northern Iraq following the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani’s announcement that he would be stepping down, according to the party’s deputy chairman.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Ozturk Yilmaz said: "We hope that Kurdish Regional Government arranges a new deal under the Iraqi constitution.

"We also do not hope for any more instability in Iraq and in the region."

In a letter read out on his behalf during the regional government's parliamentary session on Sunday, Barzani said he would not contest the upcoming regional presidential election due on Nov. 1.

"As a Peshmerga, I will continue at the service of our people; I refuse to get any extension and will not continue in this position; law should not be amended for me."

Yilmaz urged normalization of politics in Erbil.

"We hope for a democratic election [in northern Iraq] and for a new beginning in our ties with Iraq."

On Oct. 16, Iraqi forces took over Kirkuk city from Kurdish elements.

The operation came weeks after an illegitimate independence referendum in KRG-controlled territory.

Kirkuk was among territory seized by Kurdish forces when the Iraqi military abandoned the city in the face of Daesh advances in 2015 even though it was not within the borders of the KRG’s autonomous territory.

Tension has steadily mounted between Baghdad and the KRG since Sept. 25, when Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in several disputed areas, including Kirkuk -- voted on whether or not to declare political independence.

The unconstitutional referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, with many warning it would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.   



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