KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani delivers remarks at a press conference in Erbil on March 13, 2018. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has welcomed progress made toward reopening airports for international flights.
"As the KRG, we are welcoming the important step in the right direction to resolve other problems within the framework of the Iraqi constitution," Barzani said during a press conference in Erbil on Tuesday.
Abadi announced that airports could be reopened
within a week after federal control is imposed.
“I would like to thank Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and all the other sides in the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Region to make it happen,” added Barzani.
Abadi said while meeting with KRG Interior Minister Karim Sinjari that the airports would reopen after authorities “heed the return of federal authority” at the international airports in Sulaimani and Erbil.
Barzani added this decision "was the result of the many official meetings between Abadi, me, and both sides' delegations."
Asked who would run the affairs and administration of the airport as well as who would receive its revenues, Barzani responded "this is a technical matter and needs details. As per the constitution, it is clear how it should be. We have reached an agreement with them about the airports based on the constitution."
Iraq’s Interior minister Qasim al-Araji will visit Erbil, according to Barzani.
"If both sides have serious wills, the problems between both sides could be resolved on the basis of the constitution,” said Barzani.
The KRG’s next expectation will be the distribution of salaries.
Barzani revealed that in a phone call with Abadi "the sending of the salaries of some of the civil servants and the reopening of the airports were emphasized."
He added, though, they agreed "in principle" to send the salaries "but we do not know the mechanism or detail."
He was asked about the subject of the return of the Iraqi budget bill by President Fuad Masum.
"The people of Kurdistan and the government are both very concerned about the budget. We hope there is an opportunity for a revision to the law and for the demands of the Kurdistan Region is taken into account,” said Barzani.
Masum, a Kurd, returned the budget bill to parliament
on Tuesday because it lacked salaries for Peshmerga.
He described omitting the Kurdish demand in the budget law as "systematic."
"If the Kurdistan Region is part of Iraq, then it should not be dealt with in this way," said Barzani.