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US willing to facilitate talks between Kurds, Baghdad

Iraq's national flag [L] and Kurdish regional flag [R]

The United States would be willing to help facilitate conversations between Iraqi Kurds and Baghdad to try to ease tensions between the two sides after a Kurdish referendum vote, the US State Department said today.

"The United States, if asked, would be willing to help facilitate a conversation between the two," State Department spokesman Heather Nauert told a briefing, underscoring that Washington would not engage unless asked.

On Monday Kurds in Iraq voted overwhelming for independence during a non-binding referendum which saw five million people come out to cast their ballot. Iraq and neighbouring Turkey and Iran all opposed the vote and have repeated that the move further divides the already war-torn country. The US, UN, the EU and Germany are amongst a host of countries that also opposed the referendum.

Read: Kurdish independence will see Iraq disintegrate; it's Israel's dream scenario

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