Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's recent visit to Iraqi Kurdistan was aimed to test the waters on how loudly and aggressively the Kurds are willing to push their claim for the oil-rich Kirkuk region.
Maliki received a uniform answer from all his interlocutors, that the Kurds want to go until "the curtain falls", which makes dialogue, let alone solutions, between the camps virtually impossible.
Maliki will now have to accustom himself to a confrontation - be it words or bullets - with his compatriots in Iraq. Or he will have to cede Kirkuk. A third option does not exist. And if the Kurds do decide to go full-on with their demands, they will probably work on dethroning the prime minister, by refusing to support his cabinet, or working against him in the parliamentary elections scheduled for early 2010.
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