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Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari is shown in 2007. Mr. Zebari, a Kurd, says Iraq’s Kurdish political bloc is suspending its business with the Shia-led national government. (ALI ABBAS/REUTERS)
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari is shown in 2007. Mr. Zebari, a Kurd, says Iraq’s Kurdish political bloc is suspending its business with the Shia-led national government. (ALI ABBAS/REUTERS)

Kurds quit Iraqi government business in feud with al-Maliki Add to ...

The Kurdish political bloc will no longer take part in Iraq’s national government in protest against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s accusation that Kurds were harbouring Islamist insurgents in their capital, the foreign minister said on Friday.

“We have suspended our government business,” said minister Hoshiyar Zebari, who is a Kurd.

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The Kurds said on Thursday they were cancelling their participation in cabinet meetings. Zebari told Reuters that Kurdish ministers were now suspending their day-to-day involvement in the foreign, trade, migration and health ministries and the deputy premiership.

Zebari said the Kurds will continue to attend the parliament, elected on April 30, which is seeking to form a new government in the face of a Sunni insurgency that has seized large sections of northern and western Iraq.

Maliki said on Wednesday the Kurds were allowing insurgents of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, to base themselves in Erbil.

Zebari said Iraq risked falling apart if a new inclusive government is not formed soon as “the country is now divided literally into three states – “Kurdish; a black state [ISIL] and Baghdad.”

He urged Iraq’s political blocs to form a government quickly. “There is a need for all the leaders to work together and recreate the new Iraq, to build a federal Iraq based on the principles in the constitution.”

He said that unless Iraqi leaders rose to the challenge “the consequences are very dire: the complete fragmentation and failure [of Iraq].”

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