Iraq’s PUK asked PKK affiliated parties in Sulaimani to close their offices within 24 hours -Rudaw

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The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the dominant Kurdish parties in northern Iraq, asked Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) affiliated parties in Sulaimani to close their offices within 24 hours, pro-government news agency Rudaw said on Sunday.

There were no immediate reports on the response of the other Kurdish groups.

The PKK is banned in Turkey and designated by Ankara, Washington, and Brussels as a terrorist organisation. The group took arms against the Turkish state in 1984.

Iraq is divided into areas controlled by rivals Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and PUK after the region was captured from the Islamic State. The Kurdistan parliament has mainly been paralysed since 2015 following a dispute over then-President Masoud Barzani seeking an extension of his term, while both parties embraced a failed referendum on independence last year.

The PUK maintains high security and intelligence services in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, especially in Sulaimani. The party won the second-most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary election on May 12 and declared it would ignore the results of an independence referendum in September, based on what it described as fraud in the voting process.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reportedly held a back-room meeting with a delegation from the PUK while visiting Baghdad in October, discussing coordination to remove the PKK from Kurdistan Regional Government’s territories.

Source: Ahval News

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