ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The top Kurdish official on Tuesday rejected reports claiming a delegation from the Kurdistan Region would soon visit Baghdad to meet Iraqi officials.
“I don’t know. I just heard from the media that a delegation [from the Kurdistan Region] will go to Baghdad,” the region's Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said during his weekly press briefing in Erbil.
He clarified that there had been no official talks between Erbil and Baghdad to plan such a visit.
Recently, local Kurdish news outlets reported that a Kurdish delegation would soon visit the Iraqi capital to discuss deep-rooted issues between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi federal government, including issues related to the budget and oil policy.
Barzani stated that negotiations between the KRG and the federal government of Iraq continue on various levels, but went into no further detail.
"It is normal to exchange delegations" between Erbil and Baghdad, stated the Kurdish Premier, "but now, visiting Baghdad is not in our plan."
Following the Sep. 25 referendum on independence in the Kurdistan Region, relations between Erbil and Baghdad deteriorated considerably.
Over the past two months, peaceful negotiations have taken place between the two. Barzani and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi have met several times, but key disputes remain unresolved.
Editing by John J. Catherine