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Iraqi Kurds: Time is Ripe for Kurdish Independence

Updated: Thursday, July 3 2014, 01:30 PM EDT

Iraqi Kurdish officials believe the violence that has engulfed Iraq gives them a better chance than ever at breaking away from the rest of the country.

The top aide to Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani told reporters Thursday that the violence has already divided Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines.

The aide, Dr. Fuad Hussein, was in Washington to meet with Obama administration officials about the future of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq's north.

The U.S. wants the Kurdish region to remain a part of Iraq, and believes a unified country will help defeat the Sunni insurgency that is threatening the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Hussein also said that disputed Iraqi territory will be included in a Kurdish vote for independence. Sunni Arabs claim that territory as their own.

AP-WF-07-03-14 1614GMT

Iraqi Kurds: Time is Ripe for Kurdish Independence

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