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U.S. Urges Iraq, Kurds To Discuss Oil Conflict

Kurdish region President Masud Barzani (right) and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden address a joint press conference in Irbil in 2009.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has urged the leader of Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region to work with the governments of Iraq and Turkey to resolve a conflict over the region's oil.

Biden called President Masud Barzani on January 9, the same day the Kurdish regional government announced it had unilaterally started sending crude to Turkey.

Iraq's government and northern Iraq's Kurds are locked in a long-running dispute over oil rights.

The White House says Biden encouraged Barzani to talk with Baghdad to develop a way forward.

Biden has been in contact with Iraqi officials this week as violence flares in Iraq two years after the United States pulled out its troops.

He has spoken twice with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as well.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP