Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani says he is willing to engage in dialogue with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
ARBIL (IRAQ) - 28 September 2017: Kurdish leader Massud Barzani Tuesday urged Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to begin talks on the issues dividing them a day after the Kurdish autonomous community held an independence referendum.
"I call on Mr Haider al-Abadi and the others (Iraqi political officials) not to close the door to dialogue because it is dialogue that will solve problems," he said in a televised address.
"We assure the international community of our willingness to engage in dialogue with Baghdad," he said.
"The referendum is not to delimit the border (between Kurdistan and Iraq), nor to impose it de facto," Barzani added.
The Kurdish move to stage a referendum on independence went ahead despite both Iraqi and international opposition.
Iraq's neighbours Turkey and Iran both have minority Kurdish communities of their own.
The vote is non-binding and will not lead automatically to independence, but is seen by the Kurds as a major step towards a long-cherished dream of statehood.