ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani met with members of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegation in Baghdad on Saturday where he vowed to mend outstanding issues with the Iraqi government and protect the rights of the people of Kurdistan.
President Barzani wrote on his official Twitter account that he had met with the UNSC members as well as his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih to reiterate his “commitment to resolve all outstanding issues with [the] Iraqi federal government.”
He added that a resolution of ties with Baghdad would be done “while protecting [the] rights and interests of Kurdistan Region citizens as stated in the [Iraqi] Constitution.”
I met with members of @UN Security Council & Iraqi President @BarhamSalih today in Baghdad. I reiterated my commitment to resolve all outstanding issues with Iraqi federal government while protecting rights & interests of Kurdistan Region citizens as stated in the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/mlaeYqOW7G— Nechirvan Barzani (@IKRPresident) June 29, 2019
Relations between Erbil and Baghdad significantly deteriorated in the aftermath of the Kurdistan Region’s historic independence referendum in September 2017.
Iraq responded with a set of punitive measures, including a flight ban and the use of military force to regain control of disputed territories which the Kurdish forces had protected when the so-called Islamic State emerged in 2014.
Ties between the two governments have greatly improved since the appointment of new Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.
“The UN Security Council highly assessed the role of the Kurdistan Region in the face of terrorism, sheltering displaced people and refugees, protecting religious and national minorities, and expressing its satisfaction and support for the normalization and progress of Erbil-Baghdad relations,” a statement on Barzani’s official website read.
Abdul Mahdi, meanwhile, who also met with the UNSC delegation, called on the international community to provide more support for his country after it bore the brunt in the fight against the terror group.
The Security Council delegation arrived in Baghdad for a one-day visit at the invitation of the Federal Government of Iraq, the first such visit in nearly three decades.
A spokesperson for Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the visit was part of Iraq’s support for “stability and reconstruction,” and would be conducted in a way that “confirms the sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity of Iraq.”
The UNSC is made up of five permanent member states – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – and 10 non-permanent member states which serve two-year terms. Currently, those are Belgium, Ivory Coast, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland, and South Africa.