ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi dropped the request to cancel the results of the Kurdistan Region’s referendum as a pre-condition to launch a dialogue with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a Kurdish official stated on Friday.
Following Kurdistan’s Sep. 25 referendum on independence, relations between Erbil and Baghdad began to worsen as the government of Iraq labeled the vote unconstitutional and threatened to use legal measures against the Region.
Abadi has imposed different sanctions on the Kurdistan Region including a flight ban, a request to hand over control of border gates, and moving communication companies’ headquarters from Erbil to Baghdad under the authority of the central government.
The Kurdish leadership has repeatedly called for peaceful negotiations to resolve the disputes, but Baghdad insisted the cancellation of the Region’s referendum results was a pre-condition before dialogue could start.
Statistics released following the historic vote revealed over 92 percent of people in Kurdistan voted for secession from Iraq.
“Today, Iraqi PM Abadi dropping his pre-condition for [the] KRG to cancel Kurdistan referendum results is good news to defuse tension. Good news,” Hoshyar Zebari, former Iraqi Foreign and Finance Minister and current member of the High Political Council of Kurdistan, tweeted on Friday.
However, there has been no immediate comment from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office on the matter.
Zebari’s tweet comes at a time when Iraqi Vice-President Ayad Allawi called for an urgent national meeting between Erbil and Baghdad to establish a clear roadmap for the future political process.
“Historical responsibility requires all parties to act urgently to calm the situation and defuse the crisis and tension in light of the challenges experienced by our people today,” Allawi said, according to his office.
In the past few days, tensions have also increased between the Kurdish Peshmerga, Iraqi forces, and Iranian-backed Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi near the province of Kirkuk.
Senior Kurdistan Region officials have called on the international community to intervene in Iraq to prevent a civil war in the country between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany