ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke over the phone on Saturday and agreed to peacefully resolve issues between Erbil and Baghdad.
The telephone call followed a meeting held between the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, and Macron at the Élysé Palace in Paris.
“The French president reiterated his country's firm stance on the unity of Iraq and its territorial integrity and its support for the extension of the federal authority over the entire territory and the Iraqi borders,” according to a statement released by the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office on Saturday.
“The two leaders also stressed the need to resolve the problems through dialogue and the adherence to the Constitution and territorial integrity of Iraq,” the statement added.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated since the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum.
In a press conference with Barzani, Macron said dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad was long overdue and that sanctions imposed by the Federal Government of Iraq on the Kurdistan Region should be lifted.
He also mentioned that the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias should be dissolved as talks between both sides begin.
“It is essential that there be a gradual demilitarization, in particular of the [Shia militias] that established itself in the last few years in Iraq, and that all militias be gradually dismantled,” Macron added.
Editing by Nadia Riva