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Kurdish President rejects conditional dialogue with Baghdad

October 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

President of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, said yesterday that he was ready to engage in open dialogue with the central government in Baghdad but without preconditions.

Barzani is reported to have made the remarks during a meeting with the head of the European Union Mission to Iraq, Ramón Belkwa.

The Kurdish presidency said in a statement that Barzani and Belkwa have discussed the referendum on separation from Iraq held in September, as well as the subsequent reactions.

Barzani met on Sunday with Iraqi Parliament Speaker, Salim Al-Jubouri, as part of efforts by parliamentary and political blocs in Baghdad to ease tensions between Baghdad and Erbil.

After their meeting Al-Jubouri warned that the interference of regional parties in the crisis threatens Iraq’s security, stability and unity.

Read: Iraq’s Sunnis adopt alternate stances on Kurdish referendum

The Iraqi government says it will not enter into dialogue with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) until the referendum results are cancelled, a demand which has been rejected by Erbil.

Last Friday Baghdad imposed a ban on international flights to and from the region after the KRG refused to hand control of the Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports to the federal government.

The Iraqi government announced in a statement yesterday new measures against the KRG.

The Ministerial Council for National Security has ordered that all mobile communications networks be put under the federal government’s authority and to transfer their headquarters to Baghdad.

The statement referred to further actions and decisions, without providing more details.

Iraq has formally asked Iran and Turkey to close all border crossings with the region until the federal government control of them.