ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Cyril Nann, the German Ambassador to Iraq, met with President Masoud Barzani on Tuesday in Erbil as the two parties addressed the current political situation in Iraq and the escalating tensions in the aftermath of the Kurdistan Region’s referendum on independence held on Sep. 25.
Nann expressed Germany’s stance on the deterioration of political ties between Erbil and Baghdad and affirmed that the peace and safety of the Kurdistan Region remains a priority for Germany.
The German Ambassador encouraged the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to initiate a peaceful dialogue and resolve outstanding issues that have “stressed the political atmosphere in Iraq.”
President Barzani reiterated that the people of the Kurdistan Region had decided on their future in a peaceful and democratic way and that the results of the referendum indicated the will of the people, according to a statement from the Presidency’s office.
Nann also said Berlin was “ready to mediate any dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil,” similar to offers made by France and the UN. “Conflict and instability are harmful to both sides,” he added.
On Sunday, the European Union (EU) Ambassador, Ramon Blecua, met with the Kurdish President and shared the EU’s readiness to mediate talks between Erbil and Baghdad.
Barzani, in his meeting with the German Ambassador, remarked that the Kurdistan Region had not taken any steps to destabilize the region. President Barzani insisted that the Kurdish leadership has always been open to negotiations with Baghdad, but “without any pre-condition.”
Barzani’s statement comes after the central government announced new sanctions on the Kurdistan Region following a meeting between the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the National Security Council and the Council of Ministers.
The German Ambassador also met with Masrour Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Region's Security Council, who reiterated that the differences between Erbil and Baghdad “cannot be resolved with the use of threatening language or violence.”
“The international community should support dialogue between Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, as mediators, and with an open agenda.”
Editing by G.H. Renaud