ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday said Baghdad does not prohibit talks with the Kurdish government regarding the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has scheduled to hold an independence referendum on Sep. 25, 2017.
A high delegation from the Kurdistan Referendum Committee is expected to visit Baghdad soon to discuss the event with Iraqi officials.
“We are ready to discuss anything, anything that they put on the agenda, we are ready to discuss it,” Abadi said during his weekly press conference.
“Our hearts are open to agreeing on the interests of all Iraqis, including Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and other ethnic and religious minorities,” he added.
The Iraqi PM highlighted the visit of the KRG delegation, hoping the meeting would be “on the political level,” and not the party level.
He mentioned the KRG and the Federal Government of Iraq should be open to discussing any topics or issues.
“There is nothing forbidden to talk [about with the Kurds],” the Iraqi PM emphasized.
Abadi, who belongs to the Islamic Dawa party led by the former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said any possible conflict between Erbil and Baghdad would destroy the economy and wealth of the country.
However, he underlined the importance of “agreement and cooperation,” adding that would “lead us to a result.”
The Iraqi PM referenced the Constitution of Iraq, stating according to the provisions, there is no choice but to live together.
Iraqi officials claim the constitution does not honor the right of self-determination, but the KRG disagrees, and accuse Baghdad of failing to implement the provisions of the Charter.
Kurdish officials have repeatedly mentioned Baghdad’s non-compliance with the Iraqi Constitution has pushed the Kurdistan Region to seek independence.
The Foreign Minister of Iraq Ibrahim al-Jaafari previously told Kurdistan 24 the Federal government of Iraq could not prevent anyone from voting in the independence referendum.
During a previous press conference, Abadi said the referendum on independence was “unconstitutional” and Baghdad “would not deal with it.”
KRG officials have often emphasized an independent Kurdistan would bring stability and security to the region.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany