ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A senior Kurdish official on Wednesday charged Baghdad with multiple constitutional violations in its policies and practices when dealing with the Kurdistan Region.
“The Kurdistan Region cannot remain silent if constitutional violations continue [by the Iraqi federal government],” Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani said. “The Kurdistan Region has many constitutional options it can use to protect its rights.”
At the same time, he made sure to stress that Kurdish officials were eager to resolve disputes with Baghdad in a way consistent with Iraq's constitution.
Barzani’s speech came during a meeting in Erbil with the New Zealand's Ambassador to Iraq Bradley Sawden.
According to the KRSC press office, the two officials discussed the latest developments in the region, Erbil-Baghdad relations, and the further cooperation with the US-led coalition in the fight against terrorism.
Bradly praised the role of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and expressed his country’s readiness to widen bilateral relations. He hoped that disputes between Iraq's federal government and its Kurdistan Region would end soon to lay the groundwork for peace, stability, and economic development, the KRSC said.
Barzani voiced the region’s ongoing cooperation with the US-led coalition, and pledged that “Despite all the obstacles, the Kurdistan Region will continue to stay on the forefront of the fight against terrorism.”
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have deteriorated considerably since the Sep. 25 referendum in the Kurdistan Region last year. Over 92 percent voted in favor of secession from Iraq, a result expected by many, as it been the openly-discussed dream of Kurdish people around the world.
Although talks between Erbil and Baghdad have been underway for months, relations remain largely tenuous.
The Kurdish leadership has repeatedly charged that Baghdad is guilty of violating 55 different articles in the constitution when dealing with the Kurdistan Region, as well as treating its people, collectively, as second-class citizens.
Editing by John J. Catherine