Kurdish region's Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani speaks during a news conference in Irbil, Iraq November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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Iraq's top court Monday declared the Kurdish north's independence referendum in September to be unconstitutional, firing a new salvo in the political crisis with the autonomous region. The legal move marked the latest stage in the dispute between Baghdad and Kurdish regional capital Irbil sparked by the referendum, which resulted in a resounding "Yes" vote for independence in the Kurdish area.Kurdish premier Nerchivan Barzani at a news conference in Irbil denounced the court's "unilateral" decision taken without consulting representatives of the region.He also said he was "ready for dialogue" with Baghdad.The world body's appeal came after Baghdad dismissed an offer from Iraqi Kurdish leaders to freeze the outcome of the referendum and hold talks.At the end of October he announced he was stepping aside, having lost almost all of the territory disputed between Irbil and Baghdad.
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