The Kurdish rebel who led autonomy talks with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein says key obstacles still stand in the way of an agreement to end the Kurdish uprising.
"There has been no agreement yet, only the start of negotiations," said Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, on return Thursday night to rebel headquarters in this town 35 miles west of the Iranian border.Talabani headed a four-party Kurdish delegation to Baghdad this week that won an agreement in principle from Saddam for increased Kurdish autonomy.
Talabani said the Kurds and the government will meet again next week to present detailed proposals in writing. "The real negotiations will begin then, when we start discussing each side's concepts of autonomy," he added.
A leader of Shiite Moslem rebels in southern Iraq said Saddam could not be trusted, but he agreed that talks should be pursued.
Talabani said the government had indicated readiness to meet Kurdish demands for "autonomy and a democratic, pluralistic, multi-party society, freedom of expression and respect for human rights."
Talabani said further talks face three main obstacles: The extent of the territory that would be autonomous, the extent of self-rule and the region's relations with the outside world.