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Iraq's Kurds said on Thursday the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was “hysterical” and not fit to run the country.

The worsening political discord comes three days ahead of a planned parliamentary session meant to revive the process of replacing what has effectively been a caretaker government since April elections.

 Maliki “has become hysterical and has lost his balance”, a statement from the office of Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani said, reacting to accusations by the prime minister a day earlier that his administration was harbouring militants.

"You must apologize to the Iraqi people and step down. You have destroyed the country and someone who has destroyed the country cannot save the country from crises,” the statement said.

Iraq's Kurds on Thursday said their politicians will stay away from Cabinet meetings and called on Nouri al-Maliki to step down, in a further sign of the deteriorating relationship between the him and the Kurds.

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