US urges Kurdish parties to work for united Iraq

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Washington, Oct 31: US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has called on Iraqi Kurdish parties to support the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and work to realize a "strong KRG within a united and federal Iraq". A strong KRG is essential to the Iraqi long-term stability and to the enduring defeat of the Islamic State (IS), said Nauert on Monday, urging all Kurdish parties to support the KRG to resolve pending issues over the remainder of its term and prepare for elections in 2018, Xinhua news agency reported. She also hailed the decision of President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani not to seek another term. "President Barzani is a historic figure and courageous leader of his people," she said. "This decision represents an act of statesmanship during a difficult period." The US also welcomes the recent decision from Iraqi Prime Minister Gaider al-Abadi to begin a new dialogue with the KRG, she noted.  "It is time for all parties to look to the future and focus on peaceful resolution of disputes."