ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Thursday met with his Iraqi counterpart Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad to discuss ties between the two sides.
During the meeting, Barzani and Abdul-Mahdi discussed “the relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq,” a statement on the KRG’s website said.
“The two sides affirmed the need to strengthen these relations as well as cooperation and coordination in all fields to find solutions to their outstanding problems within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution,” it added.
For his part, PM Barzani thanked his Iraqi counterpart “for his continuous efforts to improve the Federal Government’s relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government,” and stressed the KRG’s “readiness for continuous dialogue to find solutions.”
Following the Kurdistan Region’s historic September 2017 independence referendum, tensions between the KRG and the Iraqi government increased.
Despite an overwhelming majority favoring independence, Baghdad rejected the results and responded with punitive measures, including the use of military force in disputed areas, namely Kirkuk province.
Since then, senior officials from both sides have met often to work on mending ties and increasing cooperation.
In November, the President of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, visited the Iraqi capital to discuss Erbil-Baghdad disputes and express support for the newly formed government headed by Abdul-Mahdi.
It was the first such visit since Masoud Barzani played a central role in the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum during his tenure as President. His two-day trip included meeting with leaders across the spectrum of Iraqi politics.