ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Sunday emphasized that cooperation between all parties is required for long-term security solutions in the disputed territories between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), particularly in Kirkuk.
Abdul-Mahdi led a meeting of the Iraqi National Security Council, which included the acting governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Jabouri, along with commanders of security operations in Kirkuk.
According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, the meeting focused, among other things, on the predicament of Kirkuk considering the recent incidents that have taken place in the city and its surroundings.
“Kirkuk’s administration is a three-sided effort that involves each of the federal government, local authorities, and the Kurdistan Regional Government,” Abdul-Mahdi stated, according to the statement.
“For effective actions to take place, all political entities must be engaged in the process,” he added, stressing the importance of a sincere, sustained dialogue between all parties with no isolated representatives.
Security in the province has considerably deteriorated after Iraqi forces and Shia militias, in a military operation on Oct. 16, 2017, drove the Kurdish Peshmerga out of Kirkuk in the wake of the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum in which the disputed region was also included.
The Security Council meeting comes during a time of increased instability in Kirkuk, one of the multiple territories in the country disputed among the KRG and the Federal Government of Iraq.
Over the past weeks, crop fields have been burned in two villages in the province’s north, one of many security breaches in Kirkuk and other disputed territories.
Kurdish farmers who own the lands shot footage of the blaze and alleged that the fire had been started by Arab settlers who claimed the property had belonged to them.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany