PM Barzani discusses Erbil-Baghdad talks, protests with Iraqi national security chief

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met on Sunday with Iraqi National Security Advisor Falih Fayyadh to discuss progress in Erbil-Baghdad talks amid an apparent pause due to flaring violent protests in central and southern Iraq.
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ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met on Sunday with Iraqi National Security Advisor Falih Fayyadh to discuss progress in Erbil-Baghdad talks amid an apparent pause due to flaring violent protests in central and southern Iraq.

The two sides affirmed “continued cooperation between the Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces in the fight against common threats to the country’s security and stability,” a statement from Barzani’s office read.

Prime Minister Barzani “reaffirmed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s [KRG] commitment to reaching a meaningful agreement with the federal government of Iraq, underpinned by the Kurdistan Region’s rights enshrined in the constitution.”

Last week, the head of KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations, Safeen Dizayee, said talks between the two sides had struck a pause due to Baghdad’s shift in focus to address recent nationwide, deadly demonstrations that took place in early October and continued for about a week. After close to 20 days of calm, the protests resumed on Friday.

Read More: Erbil-Baghdad talks paused due to protests, KRG official says

In total, over 210 people have been killed amid the use of excessive force to disperse demonstrators, who have long expressed discontent with their political and economic situation in oil-rich Iraq. Iraq is among the most corrupt countries on Transparency International’s list.

Barzani and Fayyadh recognized “the legitimate demands of protesters” while urging “calm and restraint on both sides.”

They both also “expressed support for the reforms and constructive steps taken in response by the federal government of Iraq headed by Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi,” the statement concluded.

Fayyadh earlier met with senior Kurdish leader and former president of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani. They discussed similar topics, with both expressing their continued support for Abdul Mahdi’s government.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany