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Biden calls Iraqi Kurdish leader amid oil conflict

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Photo - An Iraqi firefighter hoses down a burned car after a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Police said a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden truck into a police station, killing and wounding scores of people in the northern city, home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen, each of the ethnic groups has competing claims to the oil-rich area. (AP Photo/Emad Matti)
An Iraqi firefighter hoses down a burned car after a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Police said a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden truck into a police station, killing and wounding scores of people in the northern city, home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen, each of the ethnic groups has competing claims to the oil-rich area. (AP Photo/Emad Matti)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is urging 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 Massoud Barzani (mah-SOOD' bar-ZAH'-nee) on Thursday, the same day his Kurdish regional government announced it has unilaterally started sending crude to Turkey. Iraq's government and ethnic Kurds in northern Iraq 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 working the phones this week as violence flares in Iraq two years after the U.S. pulled out troops. He's spoken twice with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) and once with a leading Sunni lawmaker.

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