Iraq says negotiations with Kurds have failed

In this File photo from September, Kurds celebrate to show their support for the independence referendum in Duhok, Iraq. (Source: Reuters) Top News

Iraq says negotiations with the Kurds over the deployment of federal forces along the borders of their autonomous region have failed.

The body overseeing Iraq’s security forces said Wednesday that Kurdish forces had delayed talks in an effort to strengthen their defenses, and that as a result, both sides are back to “square one.”

The announcement comes less than a week after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced a temporary halt to operations in which federal forces took over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas. The advance had set off low-level clashes between the two sides, both of which are close U.S. allies against the Islamic State group.

The confrontation stems from the Kurdish vote for independence last month, which Iraq and its neighbors rejected.

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