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Kurdish Official Calls For Power Decentralization In Iraq

A senior Kurdish official has called on Iraq's central government to give up authority to local power centers, and potentially allow the creation of an autonomous Sunni Arab region.

Speaking to the Associated Press in Washington on December 9, the deputy prime minister of Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, Qubad Talabani, said, "The only way you're going to keep Iraq together is to give up power from Baghdad."

Talabani said giving Sunni Arabs broad political control within their own population may be the way to keep them from joining the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

Asked if he envisioned some sort of autonomous regional government for Sunni Arabs, he said: "Yes, absolutely."

Talabani said the Baghdad government has proven itself unable to relinquish authority to regions and provinces across the country, giving rise to frustration, particularly among Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Based on reporting by AP