UN: Iraq, Kurds to hold talks

UN Security Council has urged the Iraqi government and regional leaders in Kurdistan to set a timetable for talks to end a crisis triggered by last month’s Kurdish referendum on independence. The appeal from the top UN body came yesterday after Baghdad dismissed an offer from Iraqi Kurdish leaders to freeze the outcome of the referendum, which delivered a resounding yes to independence, and hold talks.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre, who holds this month’s UNSC Presidency, said the Council members noted that the federal and regional governments have both expressed willingness to engage in dialogue.

The Council met behind closed doors at the request of France and Sweden to hear a report form UN envoy Jan Kubis on the crisis.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had, earlier, rejected the Kurdish offer for a freeze and demanded the annulment of the last month’s vote for independence.

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