Israeli PM Netanyahu bats for independent Kurdistan

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Tel Aviv (Israel), June 29: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu on Sunday called for paving the way for an independent Kurdistan as part of the strategy to form a broader alliance with moderate forces across the region. Netanyahu said this citing the ongoing turmoil in Iraq, an Associated Press report said.

The Israeli prime minister said that his country needs to maintain a long-term military presence in the West Bank even after entering a future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu, while speaking to a think tank here, laid out a plan to deal with the gains made by Sunni extremists fighting in Iraq. He said the rise of both al-Qaida-backed Sunni extremists and the Iran-backed Shiite forces had provided the opportunity for an "enhanced regional cooperation", the report said.

Netanyahu was in favour of the independence for better regional cooperation

The Israeli PM said Jordan, which is facing threat because of the ongoing conflict in neighboring Iraq and Syria and the Kurds, who control an oil-rich autonomous region in northern Iraq, should be backed. He praised the Kurds as a nation of fighters and politically committed and spoke in favour of their independence.

Netanyahu's views, however, are at odds with the prevailing international opinion on Iraq. Turkey, other western powers and even the USA, an ally of Israel, are not in favour of Iraq's break-up.

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