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Opposition parties defend meeting with Abadi separate of KRG

By Rudaw 6/1/2018
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi receives a delegation of Kurdish opposition parties in Baghdad on January 4, 2018. Photo: Iraqi PM office
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi receives a delegation of Kurdish opposition parties in Baghdad on January 4, 2018. Photo: Iraqi PM office

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The three Kurdish opposition parties who met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, among others, earlier this week have defended their visit to the capital of Iraq independent of the KRG, citing lack of interest to form an interim government.

The Change Movement (Gorran), the Islamic Group (Komal), and Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ) met with a number of Iraqi officials including PM Abadi and Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, the first Kurdish delegation to visit Baghdad since the Iraq-opposed Kurdish referendum.

The delegation discussed the strained relationship between Erbil and Baghdad following an Iraqi military incursion in mid-October triggered by the Kurdish vote. They also discussed disputes between the two governments over KRG’s share of the federal budget and the salaries of the state employees cut since early-2014.

"The visit of the delegation took place after we pushed hard to form an interim government for the purpose of dialogue with the federal government for solving the financial issues of the people of Kurdistan and the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad on the on the basis of the constitution, but KRG officials continued business as usual," the delegation said in a statement published on Saturday after their visit to Baghdad.

It repeated PM Abadi announcement that he was willing to pay the salaries of KRG's employees after they are audited.

Gorran and Komal withdrew from the KRG coalition government in December after the ruling parties, notably the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, refused their call to form an interim cabinet to enter talks with Baghdad, and prepare for elections.

Omar Sayid Ali, Goran's leader, met with the US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and US Consul General to Erbil Ken Gross on Thursday, when Ali said that the KDP and PUK had failed in governing the Kurdistan Region and they were the "alternative."

The US State Department has welcomed the visit of the Kurdish opposition parties to Baghdad, adding that it showed that Iraqi and Kurdish officials do not need a mediator to host anticipated talks between the two governments.

Kurdish PM Nechirvan Barzani has consistently called for talks between Baghdad and Erbil, but PM Abadi is yet to commit to talks without preconditions.

In an official letter penned to Barzani on Friday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the two sides to start a "political dialogue" based on the Iraqi constitution.

Erbil has long said that it is ready for open dialogue with the Iraqi government in light of the constitution. It has respected a number of rulings from an Iraqi Federal Court that in effect ruled the independence referendum as null and void.

Abadi said late last month that political dialogue may take place at a later date after the present technical talks which are focused on salaries for KRG state employees.

Saad al-Hadithi, the spokesperson for the Iraqi government, has said that the KRG must nullify the vote for independence before talks can begin.


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KRG | 6/1/2018
The 2 ruling tribes already sold Kurdistan to all sides. In their tribial system there is no room for opposition and functioning gov. How can a opposition work then. Thus 3 parties were left no other option.
COMMUNIST | 6/1/2018
with this logic liberals in england would have visited hitler and asked them to bomb england because churchills politics was starving out people during ww2. scum of the earth traitor sellouts.
COMMUNIST | 6/1/2018
if you have issues with barzani why are you selling out all of south kurdistan to iranian militias? imbecill ignorant trash is what you are.
Muraz Adzhoev | 7/1/2018
When is Baghdad “Green Zone” prime-minister going to meet with a joint delegation of Hashed al-Shaabi and PKK to discuss the situation in Kurdish areas now under their joint “control and supervision”?
duroi | 7/1/2018
PM Abadi and his advisors need to develop contingency plans for the far more important issue of the possible collapse of Iran cleric regime and coming into power of an ultra nationalist regime in Iran, or a Kurdish/Lori government in west of 50E in Iran. This translates into an end for Shiite support in Baghdad by Iran and the next regime in Iran will force Baghdad to hand in more than $1 Trillion compensation for Baghdad starting Iran-Iraq war. Time is running out for Baghdad to negotiate a stable confederation with KRG and retreat from the occupied disputed Kurdish territories (Kirkuk-Tuz-Manadli-Badra) when it is in a stronger negotiation position now instead of leaving an open conflict for later settling for Tigris river (From Mosul to Badra/Basra) as the border line.

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