Iraqi PM meets with Turkish president on Kurds

AP— The Latest on developments in Iraq (all times local):

1 p.m.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks on the independence referendum held by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region which both countries strongly opposed.

Al-Abadi, who arrived in Ankara on Wednesday, is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Turkey had forged close ties to the Iraqi Kurdish leadership, but had urged them not to hold the vote, warning of consequences that would isolate the region. It closed its airspace to flights to and from the Iraqi Kurdish region and said it was considering closing its border to the region as further reprisal.

Neighboring Iran is also deeply opposed to the referendum, in which more than 90 percent voted for independence.


9:45 a.m.

Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region has offered to freeze the results of its controversial independence vote as part of a dialogue with Baghdad.

The proposal was unlikely to be accepted by Baghdad, which demands that the results be annulled before it takes part in any negotiations with the Kurds over relations between the central government and the region.

The regional government in a statement on its website also called for an immediate ceasefire in areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds. Clashes have been taking place since federal security forces deployed this month.

The majority of Kurds voted last month for independence in a controversial but symbolic referendum that Baghdad has so refused to acknowledge, considering it unconstitutional.