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Iraq's Kurdish Parties Unite, Nominate Talabani For President

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (right) at a news conference with Iyad Allawi, head of the secularist Al-Iraqiyah coalition
IRBIL, Iraq -- The head of Iraq's Kurdish region has said all the Kurdish blocs who won seats in parliament have agreed to nominate Jalal Talabani as their candidate for Iraq's presidency, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports.

Speaking to reporters after meeting in Irbil with representatives from Kurdish blocs, Masud Barzani said Kurdish parties also agreed on unifying their positions during negotiations with other Iraqi blocs on the formation of a new government.

Last month's elections left the Shi'ite bloc led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki with less seats than the cross-sectarian bloc led by Iyad Allawi.