ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Improving ties between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq led discussions in a meeting on Monday between Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), and senior Kurdistan Region officials.
In two separate meetings on Monday, Hennis-Plasschaert met with KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani.
In her meeting with Prime Minister Barzani, the two discussed “developments in Iraq and the region,” a statement on the KRG website read.
For his part, the Kurdistan Region prime minister highlighted the relations between the KRG and the Iraqi government. “Our talks with Baghdad continue, and our main goal is to reach an agreement that guarantees our constitutional rights,” PM Barzani was quoted as saying in the statement.
“Despite the difficult economic pressure, the Kurdistan Region remained a safe haven to receive displaced persons and refugees and provide them with the necessary assistance,” he added.
The meeting concluded with both sides emphasizing the importance of implementing Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution – which deals with the status of disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad – to normalize the security situation in Kirkuk and elsewhere.
In a separate meeting with KRG President Nechirvan Barzani, both sides “discussed the general situation in [the] Kurdistan Region and in Iraq, and outstanding issues between Erbil-Baghdad,” the UNAMI said on Twitter.
President of @Kurdistan Region, Mr. Nechirvan Barzani, received today Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for #Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. They discussed the general situation in Kurdistan Region and in Iraq, and outstanding issues between #Erbil-#Baghdad. pic.twitter.com/1LYncwwx2B— UNAMI (@UNIraq) September 9, 2019
In his meeting with Hennis-Plasschaert, President Barzani stressed the need for a better mechanism to resolve the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad, a statement on the KRG’s Presidency website read.
He also explained that the joint committees established for dialogue between both sides ”need not be political, but that the committees should be technical in many areas.”
The Kurdish president praised the role of the UN in Iraq, and stressed “the importance of UNAMI’s continued role in assisting the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government in continuing the dialogue to solve problems,” the KRG statement said.
Among other topics of discussion in the meeting were the 2020 Iraqi federal budget, the situation of disputed territories (specifically Kirkuk), the process required for displaced persons to vote in the upcoming provincial elections, the condition of displaced persons and refugees in the Kurdistan Region and ways to return them to their homes, as well as the political process and security situation in the region.