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Nov 14, 7:34 AM EST

Iraqi Kurds seek talks after federal court bars secession

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region says a federal court ruling that bars secession "must become a basis" for dialogue with the central government following September's divisive independence referendum.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Kurdish regional government says "we respect" the Nov. 6 decision by the Supreme Federal Court, an indication they may be willing to back down in the standoff with Baghdad.

More than 90 percent of voters approved independence in the non-binding referendum, which was rejected by Iraq's central government and its neighbors. In the wake of the vote, Iraqi federal forces seized the northern city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas from the Kurds.

Baghdad has said the Kurds must annul the vote before any negotiations.

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