Iraq parliament speaker to visit Kurdish region amid impasse

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BAGHDAD – The office of Iraq's parliament speaker says Salim Jabouri is traveling to the country's Kurdish region to meet with its leader, Masoud Barzani.

The move comes in the wake of the Kurdish regional vote for independence in a controversial referendum two weeks ago.

Jabouri's office says the two leaders will meet Sunday in Irbil.

Baghdad, Turkey and Iran have all threatened punitive measures against the Kurdish region if it does not annul the results of September's non-binding referendum, saying they will not accept Iraq's disintegration.

Iraq's landlocked Kurdish region produces up to a quarter of Iraq's petroleum output.

Barzani's office says he and two of Iraq's three vice presidents agreed Saturday to restore relations with Baghdad after a meeting in Irbil. The vice presidents' offices denied any resolution.

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