Iraqi Kurdish Faction to Pull out Militias in Concession to Rival
A Kurdish faction said Wednesday it will withdraw armed militias from the main northern Iraqi towns it controls in a move towards normalizing relations with its main rival.
"During a (parliamentary) meeting, held Saturday and Sunday in Erbil, KDP head Massoud Barzani announced the withdrawal of all armed militias from the main towns under its control in the next two months," a Kurdistan Democratic Party spokesman Dilshad Miran told AFP from London.
A spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said this was indeed one of its demands.
"The withdrawal of armed militias from main towns, which must be open to all groups, is one of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's demands for normalization between the two rival factions," said PUK spokesman Latif Rashid.
The two groups have long been fighting for control over swathes of northern Iraq outside of Baghdad's reach and under a US security umbrella since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.
The United States has been trying to unite the two factions in an effort to spur internal opposition to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and has offered 97 million dollars in aid, but the reconciliation process has moved haltingly - DUBAI (AFP)
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