ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) top official stated that meetings between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve the current crisis would continue until a final agreement is reached.
KRG Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, in a press conference in Munich on Sunday, said the door has always been open to dialogue between the Kurdish government and the Iraqi federal government. He noted that ongoing meetings between both sides would continue until all issues are resolved.
Barzani added, “we are hoping that before the [Iraqi] elections [in May] some of the issues are resolved, including the payment of public salaries and the opening of airports.”
Points of contention between Erbil and Baghdad cannot be resolved using sanctions and pressure politics, but only by applying the Iraqi constitution, which has already outlined a mechanism to address outstanding issues, Barzani reiterated.
The KRG PM stressed the importance of resolving internal issues with Baghdad, as well as the challenges facing the Kurdistan Region, stating his priority upon his return to Erbil would be to set a date for elections in Kurdistan.
Asked how the KRG could contribute to helping bring a solution to the Afrin situation, Barzani cautiously noted the matter was “very complex.” The current offensive in the Kurdish-held canton of Afrin in northwestern Syria has involved multiple players – the US, Russia, Turkey, and Iran – and Barzani expressed his hopes the situation can be resolved “in a way which does not harm people of Afrin.”
The PM also noted that in a meeting with Staffan de Mistura, United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria, he discussed the situation in Afrin.
Editing by Nadia Riva