Iraqi Kurdish leader to devolve powers after thorny vote

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US -backed Iraqi government forces, Iranian-backed paramilitaries and Kurdish fighters fought alongside each other to defeat Islamic State, also called ISIS, but the alliance has faltered with the militants largely defeated in the country.

Kurdish presidential elections scheduled to be held in November have been postponed indefinitely.

The president of Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani, dissolved his powers as president Sunday, distributing them between the Kurdish prime minister, Parliament and the judiciary, a Kurdish official told The Associated Press.

President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani said on Sunday that he will continue to fight for the rights of the Kurds as a member of the Peshmerga, after his term as the autonomy's head ends on November 1.

The Kurdish referendum on support for independence was held in the three provinces that make up the Kurds' autonomous zone, as well as in a string of territories claimed by Baghdad, but at the time controlled by Kurdish forces. The vote was overwhelmingly for independence and triggered the military action by the Baghdad government and threats from neighbouring Turkey and Iran.

The Kurdish referendum on support for independence that was held in September sparked tensions between Irbil and Baghdad as well as areas across the region.

This led to a crisis with regional states opposed to the vote and the Iraqi government in Baghdad which launched a blockade on the Kurdish territories.

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IS conquered those areas after sweeping across the country in 2014.

"This should prevent bloodshed between the children of the same country", he said.

Abadi said the talks are meant to prepare for the peaceful deployment of Iraqi troops at the border crossings with Turkey, Iran and Syria in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The fall of Kirkuk - a multi-ethnic city which lies outside the KRG's official boundaries - to Iraqi forces on October 16 was a major symbolic and financial blow to the Kurds' independence drive because it halved the region's oil export revenue.

Turkey said the Kurdistan Region's move of freezing the referendum's results was not enough and will not fix what has been ruined. The two sides held a first round of talks on Friday and Saturday.

Barzani has been criticised by Kurdish opponents for the loss of the city of Kirkuk, oil-rich and considered by many Kurds to be their spiritual home.

Kurdish officials offered this week to "freeze" the results of the vote, but Mr al-Abadi rejected the offer on Thursday.

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