ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Three members of the British Parliament have tabled an early day motion criticizing the Iraqi government of “collectively punishing” the people of the Kurdistan Region.
MPs Jack Lopresti, Robert Halfon, and Mary Glindon have signed early-day motion 646 which calls for dialogue between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad. Lopresti is the primary sponsor of the motion.
The motion states the House is “relieved” that armed conflict between the Iraqi army, Shia militia and the Peshmerga forces has been avoided but expresses disappointment that Baghdad has “refused all reasonable requests” from Erbil for dialogue.
The MPs expressed concern over the block to international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region, stating the airports are “vital” to the needs of the people of Kurdistan. The airports, according to the motion, are necessary for medical evacuation and expatriate interest and investment.
The motion also criticized the failure of the Iraqi government to provide sufficient medicine, in particular, due to the more than one million Sunni Arabs displaced from Mosul and the 183,000 Kurds who fled Kirkuk and other disputed territories.
The MPs have called for dialogue based on the implementation of the Iraqi constitution.
Relations between Baghdad and Erbil reached a high level of tension after the referendum on the independence of Kurdistan, held on September 25. The people of the Kurdistan Region overwhelmingly voted for independence, a move which angered Baghdad, Iran, and Turkey.
In response to the referendum, Baghdad imposed a ban on flights from international airports and other punitive measures over the Kurdistan Region.
Both sides agree that their differences should be addressed through peaceful negotiations, but so far no dialogue has taken place, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani on Tuesday told reporters at a press conference in Erbil.
Editing by Nadia Riva