Kurdish authorities say Iraqi army is shelling Kurd forces with artillery

Kurdistan's parl't to discuss Barzani presidency on Sun.

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.

Critics say the September 25 independence referendum, orchestrated by the 71-year-old president in the face of opposition from Baghdad and global allies, has weakened the position of Iraq's Kurds despite an overwhelming "yes" vote. Previously both presidential, as well as parliamentary elections, were slated for November 1, however, the chaos that broke out after the independence vote made authorities to postpone elections.

The Iraqi prime minister on Friday announced 24-hour halt of movement of the Iraqi security forces to allow a joint Iraqi-Kurdish military team to arrange redeployment of federal forces in the disputed areas claimed by Baghdad and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

The referendum on support for independence held in September has since left the region increasingly isolated.

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.

He was elected president by the Kurdish parliament in 2005, and won almost 70 per cent of the vote in Kurdistan's first direct presidential election in 2009.

Barzani also informed parliament that he will not seek an extension of his term which is set to expire November 1, Barzani's senior assistant, Hemin Hawrami said.

Born in 1946, soon after his legendary father, Mulla Mustafa, founded the Kurdistan Democratic Party to fight for Iraqi Kurds' rights, Mr Barzani fought in the peshmerga for decades.

Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters yesterday started a second round of talks to resolve a conflict over control of the Kurdistan region's border crossings, Iraqi state TV said.

Sources in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said Peshmerga forces affiliated with the sons of Masoud Barzani are fiercely fighting to stay in control of the Syrian Rmelan and Karatchok oil fields and the town of Mahmoudiyah which oil is smuggled through in agreement with the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the PJAK forces affiliated with the Iranian Kurdistan Freedom Party.

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

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