ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Thursday warned of a “big conspiracy” against the Region in the aftermath of violent protests, adding his government had renewed its commitment to resolve outstanding issues with the Iraqi government on the basis of the Constitution.
During a press conference in Erbil following his visit to Germany, Prime Minister Barzani addressed the recent riots in the provinces of Sulaimani and Halabja, where demonstrators burned down party and government offices.
According to the KRG leader, certain groups are “trying to create chaos” in the Region, but his government would “prevent that from continuing.”
“Demonstrations are a natural right for everyone, but the burning of government buildings and party headquarters is not an expression of opinions at all,” he noted.
“We are facing a serious threat and a conspiracy too large to fathom,” the KRG Prime Minister stated. “What happened in the province of Sulaimani is an attempt to undermine security and stability.”
Prime Minister Barzani, who on Sunday called on the Kurdistan Parliament to set a date for general elections within the next three months, said the KRG was “ready to support the Parliament and the Commission to hold fair elections as soon as possible.”
The KRG Prime Minister also said Kurdistan was “committed to dialogue with the government of Baghdad, based on the Constitution, to resolve all outstanding issues.”
The relationship between the KRG and the Iraqi government has considerably deteriorated following Kurdistan’s Sep. 25 independence referendum.
The historic vote received widespread support for secession from Iraq, but Baghdad refused to recognize the results and instead responded by imposing collective punitive measures against Kurdistan, including the use of military force in disputed areas.
The KRG has shown its flexibility, offering to freeze the results of the referendum, but Baghdad demands a full annulment as well as the handover of airports and border crossings as a precondition for the start of negotiations.
Regarding the Iraqi government’s demands, the KRG Prime Minister said the Constitution “has outlined a way to manage borders and airports,” stressing Kurdistan was ready “to jointly manage them.”
Editing by Nadia Riva