Kurdish people gather in support of a referendum on the secession of northern Iraq?s Kurdish region to be held on September 25, in Kirkuk, Iraq August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed
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Iraqi government officials may meet Kurdish representatives again next week to try to convince them to delay or cancel a plan to hold an independence referendum, a negotiator said.A first round of talks, held last week in Baghdad, brought the two sides closer and a second round could be held next week in the Kurdish capital Erbil, Abdullah al-Zaidi, a member of the government negotiating team, told Reuters on Monday evening.The Kurds have been seeking an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East and left Kurdish-populated territory split between modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.Central Iraq around Baghdad is mixed.The peshmerga now effectively run the Kirkuk region, also claimed by Turkmen and Arabs.
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