Kurdistan accepts Baghdad’s terms for dialogue

Kurdistan accepts Baghdad’s terms for dialogue

2 January 2018: Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has agreed with the Federal Government in Baghdad to engage in talks with the aim of ensuring that Baghdad restores control over crossing borders with Iran and Turkey.

“The federal authority must spread across the country,” Commander of Special Forces for Counter Terrorism Maan al-Saadi wrote on his Twitter account.

The KRG has reached a consensus with Baghdad’s Government, led by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, to engage into a dialogue to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Iraq, following the referendum of Kurdistan’s independence approval, according to Abu Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia channel’s report published on Tuesday.

The report stated that the agreement between Erbil and Baghdad consists of seven conditions:

First: Erbil has to handover to Baghdad all crossing borders with Iran and Turkey.

Second: The formation of a High Commission to regulate activities of crossings and airports.

Third: A KRG’s technical delegation is expected to arrive in Baghdad to examine the Federal Government’s powers and privileges.

Fourth: Another KRG commission is set to be formed to follow up with the educational and health sectors.

Fifth: Redistribution of water resources’ revenues.

Sixth: KRG’s officials and ministers are invited to convene with the Federal Government’s members in Baghdad.

Seventh: The September referendum is null.

An independence referendum for Iraqi Kurdistan was held on September 25, 2017, with approximately 93 percent of votes cast in favor of independence. Baghdad Federal Government rejected the referendum’s results and demanded Erbil cancel them.

Erbil announced "freezing" the referendum’s results until negotiations with Baghdad, who refused the freezing decision and insisted on the cancellation of the results.

In November, Abadi urged Iraqis to take part in the parliamentary elections which are scheduled to take place next May.

In Iraq’s previous general election held on April 30, 2014, Iraqis elected 328 lawmakers to the Parliament, which in turn elected Abadi to form an inclusive government from the Shiite alliance, Kurds and Sunnis.

The Iraqi Constitution stipulates that the parliamentary elections must be held at least 45 days before the end of the current legislative term, and the date of the elections must be set by a resolution of Abadi's cabinet in coordination with the Independent High Electoral Commission.

“Iran re-opened two crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan on Tuesday that it had closed after a referendum in favor of independence for the semi-autonomous region, Iran's ISNA news agency reported,” according to Reuters.