ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi President Barham Salih met on Wednesday with senior members of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), including Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, to discuss key issues between the KRG and the Federal Government of Iraq.
Salih and Iraqi Finance Minister Fuad Hussein arrived in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil on Tuesday where they were received by KRG President Nechirvan Barzani before they sat for a meeting.
On Wednesday, Salih and his accompanying delegation met with Prime Minister Barzani to address the outstanding disputes between Erbil and Baghdad.
During the meeting, both sides “acknowledged that improved relations between Erbil and Baghdad have facilitated constructive dialogue and a path to a stable relationship that recognizes the rights of the Kurdistan Region under the [Iraqi] Constitution,” a statement from the prime minister’s press office read.
Salih and Prime Minister Barzani “recognized that mutual respect and improved coordination will help stabilize the country and preserve the security of its people against both internal and external threats,” it added, noting that stronger Erbil-Baghdad ties are “of shared interest.”
In a separate meeting, the Iraqi delegation met with the Kurdistan Region’s Speaker of Parliament, Rewaz Faiaq, and several lawmakers from various blocs.
Faiaq wrote on Twitter that both sides “discussed the main outstanding political, [economic] issues” between the KRG and the Iraqi government as well as “constitutional ways to resolve them.”
It was great opportunity meeting with HE @BarhamSalih the Iraqi president in @kurdistanparl,whrer we discussed the main outstanding political,economical issues between Arbil&Baghdad and the constitutional ways to resolve them.. pic.twitter.com/xqN9uDpPtN— Dr.Rewaz Faiaq (@Rewaz_faiaq) September 18, 2019
For his part, Salih stressed the importance of unity and coordination between the Kurdish representatives in the Iraqi Parliament, a statement from the Kurdistan Parliament speaker’s office said.
Elsewhere, Salih and his delegation met with Masoud Barzani, President of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The sides “exchanged views on the latest political developments in Iraq and the region,” a statement on the KDP leader’s website read.
Both parties underlined “the need for continued dialogue” to resolve outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad, including the share of the 2020 federal budget, the status of disputed territories, as well as the threats of terrorism, the statement added.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad were considerably depleted following the Kurdistan Region’s historic independence referendum in September 2017. Relations began to improve namely after the formation of the new Iraqi government in late 2018 headed by Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany