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Push for Kurdish independence divides Iraqi Kurds

Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani's call for independence from Iraq has drawn criticism from Iraqi Kurdish politicians who fear a Kurdish state would become a Turkish vassal state.
A woman hails a taxi while standing under Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) logos before Iraq's parliamentary elections in Sulaimaniya April 28, 2014. Picture taken April 28, 2014.        To match IRAQ-ELECTION/KURDS      REUTERS/Jacob Russell (IRAQ - Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS) - RTR3N0GY
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Although the current chaos in Iraq has brought the Kurds there closer to their long-held dream of independence, it has not brought them unity. While Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), campaigns for Kurdish independence, other Kurdish political groups have taken a different position, in particular the KDP’s main rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

On July 3, Barzani addressed the KRG parliament in a closed-door session, during which, according to a source who attended, he discussed his latest diplomatic efforts to gain international support for independence. The source, who requested anonymity, said that Barzani was not clear regarding a referendum on Kurdistan’s independence, as opposed to what is being reported in the media.

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