ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani on Tuesday called on the international community to intervene and create a climate conducive to starting negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad.
During a meeting with the Finnish Ambassador in Iraq, Päivi Laine, Chancellor Barzani reiterated the Kurdistan Region’s readiness to begin a dialogue with Iraq.
“Kurdistan has repeatedly expressed willingness to negotiate, and has done all that is incumbent upon them to undertake the duties to start a dialogue with the Iraqi government,” he told Laine in Erbil.
The relationship between the KRG and the Iraqi government has considerably deteriorated following Kurdistan’s Sep. 25 independence referendum.
The historic vote received sweeping 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 full annulment.
“The Kurdistan Region has always renounced violence, and for long has preferred to use peaceful and democratic means,” the KRSC Chancellor explained.
“The largest evidence is the referendum which was a peaceful way to express the opinion of millions of people in Kurdistan,” he added. “But, unfortunately, there is no climate conducive to democratic procedures.”
Officials and leaders in the Region have often renounced violence and called on Baghdad to resolve all the outstanding differences with Erbil through dialogue, but the Iraqi government has not shown any response so far, the KRSC head noted.
Chancellor Barzani urged the international community to intervene to create the necessary ground to resolve the differences between Kurdistan and Iraq “through peaceful means away from the use of force or violence.”
The Finnish ambassador stressed that the use of violence was unacceptable, adding that Europe urges Baghdad and Erbil to “accelerate the immediate dialogue to resolve all outstanding problems between the two sides according to the Iraqi Constitution.”
“The Kurdistan Region will defend the constitutional rights of its people inside and outside the Region,” Barzani concluded.
Editing by Sam A.