SULAIMANI – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the government of Iraq is ready to begin talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) but the region “needs to resolve their internal issues first.”
Abadi said during a press conference on Tuesday (December 5) these internal issues need to be solved, “particularly as some [Kurdish] parties consider the KRG illegitimate.”
The Iraqi prime minister also accused some Kurdish parties of causing conflict in the Kurdistan Region. He added “There are some people in the Kurdistan Region who are determined [to cause] bloodshed,” without referring to any person or party.
Abadi’s remarks came after the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, said Baghdad was not ready to hold talks with the region.
“We are committed to holding dialogue with Baghdad to resolve the issues and all the constitutional articles that need to be implemented,” Barzani said.
Tensions between the KRG and the central government hit a high in 2015, after officials from both sides accused each other of failing to abide by the terms of an oil revenue sharing deal struck by officials in December 2014.
Relations hit their lowest in the aftermath of the referendum held by the Kurdistan Region, which saw over 90 percent of voters say “yes” to independence.
The central government has taken security and economic measures against the KRG in the wake of the referendum. In a first reaction, Baghdad banned international flights to and from the region. In mid-October, the Iraqi forces alongside Hashid al-Shaabi retook disputed areas from the Kurdish forces.