President of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, on Saturday called for dialogue to settle unresolved issues with the central government.
“We will work to solve problems and differences with Baghdad through dialogue,” Barzani told reporters after he laid a blanket of flowers on the tomb of former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
Talabani passed away Tuesday in a Berlin hospital at the age of 83 following a long struggle with illness.
“We hope that Talabani’s death will be a chance for rapprochement between all political parties in the Kurdish region,” Barzani said.
On September 25, Iraqis in KRG-held areas – and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil – voted on whether to declare independence from Iraq.
According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favour of independence.
The illegitimate referendum was heavily criticised by most regional and international actors, many warning that it would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilise the already-volatile region.