“The policy has always been a unified Iraq.
And as you know, the independence referendum which was undertaken by the Kurdish Regional Authorities a few months back was disruptive to that unity,” he said on Tuesday at the Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum.
The US was one of the major nations to oppose the referendum held in the Kurdistan Region on Sep.
25 which saw 93 percent of voters favoring secession from Iraq.
Since the independence vote, ties between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq have considerably deteriorated, with Baghdad imposing collective punitive measures on the region as well as taking Kirkuk and other disputed territories under the KRG’s administration through the use of military force.
“We’re working through that process now between Baghdad and Erbil to ensure the two parties remain unified, and we are supporting both deconfliction, and we’re supporting a re-engagement around the Iraqi constitution which was never fully implemented,” Tillerson added.
Kurdish officials have repeatedly mentioned that Baghdad is cherry picking in its implementation of the Iraqi Constitution, one of the main causes that pushed the Kurdistan Region to hold the referendum.
Baghdad has violated 55 articles of the constitution, including Article 140 which relates to the oil-rich Kirkuk and other disputed territories, former President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has repeatedly stated.
“We will stand and we have said we’ll stand with the Kurds to support them in the full implementation of the Iraqi constitution which, when it is fully implemented, will address a number of grievances that the Kurdish people have had for some time, and we hope will lead to that unified Iraq,” Tillerson noted.
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, in the past few weeks, called on the international community act as a third party in the talks between Erbil and Baghdad to help settle their disputes.
Although both Erbil and Baghdad believe their differences can be resolved through dialogue, the negotiations have yet to begin.
The Federal Government of Iraq rejects the need for a third party to be present, stating the disputes are an internal Iraqi matter and does not require a mediator.
Baghdad also insists on the full annulment of the referendum results before initiating a dialogue.
Editing by Nadia Riva
Note: The post (Iraqi constitution never fully implemented, critical for deconfliction: Tillerson) appeared first on (Kurdistan 24) and do not necessarily reflect the position of IraqNow.news.
You can read the original text from the source (Kurdistan 24).