ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is putting forward every effort to help end the ongoing crisis with the Iraqi government “within the framework of the constitution,” a top Kurdish official said on Thursday.
While meeting with US Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman, the Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani stressed the need for Baghdad to join the discussion and resolve outstanding disputes with Erbil.
A KRG statement said that Barzani and Silliman agreed on the necessity “to restore stability” to the region after conflicts arose between Erbil and Baghdad, “so as to allow for a serious dialogue to begin and resolve all issues on the basis of the Iraqi constitution.”
Kurdish officials have repeatedly called on the Federal Government of Iraq to fully implement the Constitution of Iraq to ensure the unity of Iraq. Erbil has accused Baghdad of violating multiple articles of the constitution since 2005.
The American and Kurdish officials also highlighted steps taken so far, including a delegation from the Kurdistan Region’s ministries of education and health visiting Baghdad this week, as an indication that tensions might be easing thanks to pressure exerted by Western powers.
“Financial dues owed to the Kurdistan Region in the Iraqi budget bill were discussed, and both sides agreed on the possibility of intensifying efforts towards solving the disputes,” the statement continued.
Earlier this week, the Iraqi government’s spokesperson, Saad Hadithi, was quoted by al-Sabah newspaper as saying that the Federal Government of Iraq “had not specified any preconditions before entering negotiations” with Erbil, “except the annulment of the referendum.”
On Sep. 25, the Kurdistan Region held a referendum on independence, which saw an overwhelming majority support secession, prompting Baghdad to impose a series of punitive measures, including an international flight ban.
Since then, the Iraqi government has refused to enter talks with Erbil until the referendum’s results were canceled and control of all international border crossings, airports and oil exports were handed over to Baghdad.