Arabic | Kurdish

Baghdad’s ‘only condition’ is annulment of referendum: Iraqi Spokesperson

2018/01/04 | 16:15

(Iraq Now News)- ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Baghdad has not imposed any preconditions for a dialogue with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) other than the cancellation of the referendum’s results, according to the Iraqi government’s spokesperson.

Saad Hadithi on Thursday was quoted by al-Sabah newspaper as saying that the Federal Government of Iraq “had not specified any preconditions before entering negotiations” with Erbil, “except the annulment of the referendum.”

On Sep.

25, the Kurdistan Region held a referendum on independence, which saw an overwhelming majority support secession, prompting Baghdad to impose a series of punitive measures, including an international flight ban.

Since then, the Iraqi government has refused to enter talks with Erbil until the referendum’s results were canceled and control of all international border crossings, airports and oil exports were handed over to Baghdad.

Hadithi stated that Baghdad wants to resolve its disputes with the KRG “on the basis of the Iraqi constitution,” something Kurdish officials have also stressed.  Erbil has repeatedly stated it welcomes any steps for a dialogue with the central government to begin and that the full implementation of the constitution would “ensure the unity of Iraq.”

The comments come as a joint delegation from the ministries of Health and Education in the Kurdistan Region went to Baghdad to discuss the payment of government salaries.

Tensions between the KRG and the Iraqi government have considerably increased following Kurdistan’s Sep.

25, 2017, independence referendum.

The historic vote received widespread support for secession from Iraq, but Baghdad refused to recognize the results and instead responded by imposing collective punitive measures against Kurdistan, including the flight ban and use of military force in disputed areas.

The KRG has shown its flexibility, offering to freeze the results of the referendum, but Baghdad demands a full annulment as well as the handover of airports and border crossings as a precondition for the start of negotiations.

Last month, the Iraqi government announced the extension of the flight ban for another two months despite Iraqi President Fuad Masum recently suggesting that talks would soon begin.

Note: The post (Baghdad’s ‘only condition’ is annulment of referendum: Iraqi Spokesperson) appeared first on (Kurdistan 24) and do not necessarily reflect the position of
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