RealNews

U.S. Presses Iraqi Kurds to Compromise on Issue of Autonomy

The Bush administration, increasingly fearful of Iraq’s breaking up along ethnic lines after the American occupation ends, is urging Kurdish leaders to compromise in their demand for a fully autonomous state in the north, administration officials said Wednesday. The officials said that L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator in Iraq, met Friday with top Kurdish leaders to convey the concerns of senior members of the administration that a Kurdish state with all its current powers, plus some authority that it does not have now, posed a threat to the future unity of Iraq. American officials said the Kurdish reaction was not conveyed back to Washington by Mr. Bremer. But a Kurdish representative said the Kurdish leaders were adamant in rejecting Mr. Bremer’s request. Kurds, the spokesman said, will continue to demand nothing less than the autonomy that the Kurdish area has had since 1991, when the United States decided to protect it as a breakaway part of Iraq. Full Story

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