Kerry visits Iraqi Kurdistan
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Iraqi Kurdistan Tuesday to urge Kurdish leaders to engage in the political process, Reuters reports.
According to Reuters, Kurdish security forces took control of oil-rich Kirkuk on June 12 after the Iraqi military fled from ISIL militants who attempted to take the town.
The Kurdish people dream of establishing an autonomous state, but Kerry is attempting to convince Kurdish leaders to be a part of the new government in Baghdad.
Iraq has set a July 1 deadline for forming a new inclusive government.
“The secretary’s visit will be very important both to confer with the Kurdish leadership and also encourage them to play a very active role in this government formation process, including choosing a very strong president who can represent both Kurdish interests but also Iraqi interests,” a senior State Department official said.
Because Kurdish forces now have control of Kirkuk, they could earn more on their own, but Washington is discouraging this move.