ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The situation in disputed areas between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi government led discussions between a delegation from the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga Ministry and Iraq’s Ministry of Defense on Monday.
According to a joint statement released after the meeting in Erbil, both sides spoke about the security situation in the disputed areas between the KRG and Baghdad.
“The meeting also highlighted the recent developments in Iraq and the region, and addressed the changes in the security conditions in the regions outside of the KRG’s administration,” it added.
Jamal Mohammed, the Peshmerga Chief of Staff, told Kurdistan 24 the meeting was the first of many and that the issues were touched upon briefly.
He added that each side had designated sub-committees who are scheduled to meet next week to begin work on improving conditions in the disputed areas.
Following the Kurdistan Region’s historic September 2017 independence referendum, tensions between the KRG and Iraqi government increased.
Despite an overwhelming majority favoring independence, Baghdad rejected the results and responded with punitive measures, including the use of military force in disputed areas, namely Kirkuk province.
Since then, both the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces have been working to mend ties and increase cooperation.
The Kirkuk file has been one of the long-standing disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad.
Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution requires the fate of the province to be determined in a referendum where people can freely decide whether they want to be part of Iraq or the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
The article’s deadline was December 2007. However, it was never implemented as the status province remains a critical dispute between both governments.