08/04/2012 12:13 ERBIL, April 8 (AKnews) - A source close to Nouri al-Maliki said the Iraqi PM has instructed all Iraqis to remain silent about the ongoing crisis with the Kurdistan Region to preserve the historic relationship which brings together Shiites and Kurds.

MP Salman al-Musawi said: "Maliki and his political side have requested all Iraqis to remain silent about the crisis with the Kurdistan Region in order to preserve the relationship with the Kurds.

"On the Kurdish side, [they] must understand that our position comes from our sense to keep the good relationship with Kurds and that does not mean or interpret as a position of weakness," added al-Musawi.

The political crisis erupted between Baghdad and Erbil recently after the Kurdistan Region stopped the export of crude oil in protest against the federal government's non-payment of dues owed to foreign companies operating in the region.

The Kurdistan Regional Government said the region asked the Baghdad government to pay the foreign companies some $1.5bn (1.7tr IQD), while the latter stated it would pay only $450m (522bn IQD).

By Haidar Ibrahim