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Barzani Announces Withdrawal From Presidential Race

Barzani Announces Withdrawal From Presidential Race

Sunday, 29 October, 2017 - 07:15
Iraqi forces gather at their camp on the front line on the edge of the northwestern town of Fishkhabur, near the borders with Syria and Turkey, on Oct 28, 2017. (Photo: AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye)

Asharq Al-Awsat learned on Saturday from informed Kurdish sources that Iraqi Kurdistan's veteran leader Masoud Barzani will read out a statement at the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament meeting on Sunday concerning his decision not to run for the upcoming presidential elections, redistributing his authorities to concerned institutions and focusing on the affairs of the “Peshmerga” forces.

Barzani’s step came after the military and political defeat that touched the Region following the Sept. 25 referendum on independence, opposed by Baghdad, Ankara and Tehran, in addition to the international community.

Kurdish MP Iden Maarouf said parliament will meet on Sunday to see how best to "redistribute the president's powers" among the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, AFP reported.

Hayman Hurami, the political adviser at the office of the Kurdish Region's President said that Barzani will remain a high reference in the Kurdistan Region.

In a post on his Facebook account, Hurami said that Barzani will continue to be a member of the Peshmerga forces and participate in the political operation.

Meanwhile, during a meeting held in Mosul Saturday with a Peshmerga delegation in the presence of the US, an Iraqi military delegation asked that the Kurdish forces pullback to 2003 “blue line” border and to hand over all border crossings.

Iraq's chief of staff General Othman al-Ghanimi told reporters after the talks in central Nineveh province that both sides have reached an agreement on some points.

"There has been progress but the definitive solution is in the hands of the other (Kurdish) delegation. They must return to Kurdistan for consultation and give us their answer," Ghanimi said.

For his part, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said on Saturday that the target of the Iraqi forces is to allow for its redeployment until reaching the Fishkhabur area on the Iraqi-Turkish border.

Fishkhabur is located on a border triangle between the Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian territories. Ankara has an eye on the area, which constitutes a linking point for the Kurds with the two sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Earlier, Turkey had asked to help Baghdad military in deploying its authority in the area.

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