ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – With the formation of a new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet approaching, the Kurdistan Region is prepared to begin talks with the Federal Government of Iraq and resolve all disputes, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on Thursday.
The Kurdish leader’s comments came during a meeting in Erbil with Hendrik Van de Velde, the Belgian Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq, and an accompanying delegation.
According to a readout of the meeting published on the KRG’s website, Prime Minister Barzani spoke to Van de Velde about discussions to form a new government cabinet in the Kurdistan Region following the Sept. 30 parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister Barzani also addressed the Region’s economic sector and ways to improve living conditions for citizens, the readout said.
Van de Velde congratulated the Kurdistan Region on its successful election process and for holding its first parliament session. He also underlined the need for Kurdish parties to participate actively in the new Iraqi government.
Prime Minister Barzani expressed the KRG’s readiness to improve ties between Erbil and Baghdad.
Relations between the KRG and the Iraqi government turned sour in the aftermath of Kurdistan’s historic independence referendum last September.
Baghdad rejected the outcome of the vote – where an overwhelming majority (at least 93 percent) favored secession – and responded with a set of punitive measures including a flight ban, the closure of borders, and the use of military force in disputed areas.
Ties between the two have improved with officials and leaders from either administration meeting on several occasions since then.
The two officials also addressed the situation of displaced persons, facilitating their return home, and providing necessary services and securtiy for them.