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Iraqi Kurds Seek Demands Ahead Of Constitutional Meeting

6 August 2005 -- Iraqi Kurds insisted on their demands for Iraq's new constitution today, a day ahead of a key meeting of leaders from across the country aimed at resolving differences over the draft document.

Mas'ud Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, said Iraqi Kurds should be flexible in negotiations but should not "haggle over [their] demands." Barzani was addressing an emergency meeting of the regional parliament.

The role of Islamic law, federalism and control of the northern oil fields are among key issues for Kurdish negotiators.

Political leaders from across Iraq are due to meet in Baghdad tomorrow to work out differences over the draft constitution, due to be completed by 15 August.

The meeting had initially been scheduled for Friday but was put off by two days so that more delegates could attend.


[For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]