The Bush administration has decided to let the Kurdish region remain semi-autonomous as part of a newly sovereign Iraq despite warnings from Iraq’s neighbors and many Iraqis not to divide the country into ethnic states, American and Iraqi officials say. The officials said their new position on the Kurdish area was effectively dictated by the Nov. 15 accord with Iraqi leaders that established June 30 as the target date for Iraqi self-rule. Such a rapid timetable, they said, has left no time to change the autonomy and unity of the Kurdish stronghold of the north, as many had originally wanted. “Once we struck the Nov. 15 agreement, there was a realization that it was best not to touch too heavily on the status quo,” said an administration official. “The big issue of federalism in the Kurdish context will have to wait for the Iraqis to resolve. For us to try to resolve it in a month or two is simply too much to attempt.” Full Story
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