ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Prime Minister of Iraq has become arrogant and does not want to resolve issues with the Kurdistan Region through dialogue, according to a Kurdish lawmaker.
“Abadi isn’t thinking straight. He is riding the waves of success, especially after declaring victory over Da’esh [Islamic State (IS)], and, according to them, over the Kurdistan Region as they took control of Kirkuk, Shingal (Sinjar), and other [disputed] territories,” Arez Abdulla, head of Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK) faction in the Iraqi Parliament, told Kurdistan 24 on Monday.
The Member of Parliament claimed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was not interested in resolving disputes between Erbil and Baghdad.
“Abadi is feeling haughty. He deals with the Kurdistan Region with the extreme arrogance,” Abdulla continued. “It is true that his policies damaged the Kurdistan Region, but eventually, it will negatively affect him.”
Ties between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq have considerably deteriorated following the Sep. 25 referendum on independence in Kurdistan.
Baghdad imposed punitive measures and an embargo on the Kurdistan Region and asked for the full annulment of the referendum results as a pre-condition to any dialogue.
“The federal government’s demands on the KRG are obstacles to launching a constructive dialogue,” the Kurdish lawmaker continued. “Saddam Hussein [former Iraqi Dictator], despite all the power he had, never put conditions on negotiations, and instead, first convened with the party in question to discuss.”
Abdulla stated that it is possible for both Erbil and Baghdad to disagree on some issues, but asserted that imposing pre-conditions was an indication Abadi has no real desire or intention to resolve the current disputes.
He also asserted that the Iraqi Premier not only wants to decrease the KRG’s power but also shrink its borders to the 2003 line of contacts, meaning that many of the current districts and neighborhoods of Erbil province would fall into the hands of the Federal Government of Iraq.
The KRG has offered to freeze the results of the referendum as a show of goodwill for talks with Baghdad to start. The international community, including France and Germany, has called on Baghdad to accept the KRG’s initiative and launch peaceful negotiations, but no progress has been made in this regard.
Editing by Nadia Riva