The New York Times quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on Secretary Kerry’s meeting with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani:

American officials have made clear privately that they would support the selection of a new prime minister if Mr. Maliki’s rivals would unite behind an alternative. But it is uncertain whether Sunni and Kurdish political parties can find enough common ground in forming a new government now that the Kurdish militia, known as the pesh merga, has taken control of Kirkuk.

“Ousting Maliki will require the cooperation of all the other blocs,” said Ramzy Mardini, an expert on Iraq and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, an independent research organization based in Washington.

“But Iraq isn’t a place where collective interests reign over parochial ones,” Mr. Mardini said. “The crisis is creating new facts on the ground, and will likely affect how the next government is formed. For example, Sunni and Kurdish cooperation is likely to diminish on government formation after the Kurds grabbed Kirkuk.”

Read the full article here.

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