Middle East

Iraq government and Kurdistan agree to defuse military standoff

Massud Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region sits amidst Kurdish peshmerga security forces during a visit to the disputed north Iraq province of Kirkuk on December 10, 2012 on the outskirts of the Kirkuk. The visit may increase already-high tension with Baghdad, which has seen both sides deploy military reinforcements to areas in north Iraq. The dispute over territory in northern Iraq is the biggest threat to the country's long-term stability, diplomats and officials say.





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