ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Netherlands on Monday expressed its concerns over the extension of an international flight ban by the Iraqi government on airports in Kurdistan, warning it would harm economic development in the Region.
In an official statement, the Netherlands Consulate General in Erbil called on Baghdad to resolve the outstanding issues with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in line with the Iraqi Constitution.
“The Netherlands regrets the decision to extend the suspension of international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region airports which harms economic development,” the statement read.
“We urge the Iraqi government to continue a meaningful dialogue with the KRG to resolve the international flight ban and find solutions for the budget allocation concerns and other outstanding issues in line with the Iraqi Constitution,” it added.
The Iraqi government banned international flights to Erbil and Sulaimani as part of collective punitive measures leveled against Kurdistan in response to the Sep. 25 independence referendum which saw an overwhelming majority support secession.
In a similar statement last week, the German Embassy in Baghdad warned the Iraqi government over the extension of the flight embargo on airports in the Region.
“We regret the decision [by Baghdad] to prolong the suspension of international flights to the airports in the [Kurdistan Region] very much,” the statement said, adding that “stability in [Iraq] depends on the resolution of internal conflicts.”
On Feb. 26, the Federal Government of Iraq announced that the flight ban on airports in the Kurdistan Region would be extended until May 31.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany