ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Dialogue on the basis of the Constitution and without pre-conditions is the best means to resolve outstanding issues between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, a top Kurdish official said on Wednesday.
“Using the military for political disputes violates the constitution and increases tensions. Iraq must begin unconditional talks with Kurdistan,” affirmed the head of the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council (KRSC), Masrour Barzani.
The security chief made the statements during a meeting with Norway’s special representative to the Middle East, Knut Leid, to discuss recent developments.
According to the KRSC’s press office, Leid expressed his support for dialogue to begin as soon as possible between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq to resolve their differences and devote their efforts to the war against the Islamic State (IS). He also stressed the importance of focusing on the reconstruction of Iraq.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated following the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum, which the central government labeled unconstitutional and illegal.
The conflict escalated on Oct. 16 when Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias and Iraqi Forces launched an attack on the city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas.
Since then, the Kurdistan Region has heavily criticized Baghdad’s use of the military to address political disputes and repeated its readiness to engage in a serious dialogue with the federal government.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has refused to initiate talks until the Kurdistan Region’s referendum results are “fully annulled” and has vowed to impose federal authority over all of the country.