Iraq's Kurds offer to freeze results of independence vote

Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region has offered to freeze the results of its controversial independence vote as part of a dialogue with Baghdad.

The proposal was unlikely to be accepted by Baghdad, which demands that the results be annulled before it takes part in any negotiations with the Kurds over relations between the central government and the region.

The regional government in a statement on its website also called for an immediate ceasefire in areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds. Clashes have been taking place since federal security forces deployed this month.

The majority of Kurds voted last month for independence in a controversial but symbolic referendum that Baghdad has so refused to acknowledge, considering it unconstitutional.