Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

Report: Iraq blocked German FM diplomatic visit to Erbil

By Rudaw 23/11/2017
Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani [R] meets with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Erbil in April, 2017. File photo:KRG
Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani [R] meets with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Erbil in April, 2017. File photo:KRG
BERLIN, Germany – Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi blocked a visit by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to the Kurdistan Region in the beginning of November in an "undiplomatic way," the German Der Spiegel reported on Thursday.
 
According to the German magazine, the chief diplomat wanted to first visit Baghdad and then head north to Erbil to meet with Kurdish authorities. Abadi strongly opposed this plan, instead giving a green for Gabriel to visit just Baghdad.
 
The dispute was not resolved even after Chancellor Angela Merkel picked up the phone to talk with Abadi. Gabriel subsequently cancelled the visit.
 
The planned visit was to take place after the Iraqi military incursion into the disputed or Kurdistani areas in mid-October, triggered by Baghdad's rejection of Kurdistan's independence vote.
 
Before the September referendum that saw nearly 93 percent support for leaving Iraq, almost all diplomatic visits followed the same pattern: land in Baghdad and then head north to Erbil. This however changed after the vote.
 
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Baghdad after the October 16 crisis and met with Iraqi officials including Abadi and Iraqi President Fuad Masum, a Kurd. He did not visit Erbil.
 
No explanation was given at the time, but he has had at least two phone calls with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani after the referendum, urging Baghdad and Erbil to start talks.
 
Other US officials have also skipped Erbil when visiting Iraq. General Joseph Votel, the commander of US Central Command, did so in late October.
 
US Special Presidential Envoy to the anti-ISIS Global Coalition Brett McGurk visited Baghdad in mid-October but bypassed Erbil, going straight to northern Syria. McGurk did visit both Baghdad and Erbil last week and met with PM Barzani and other Kurdish officials.
 
Baghdad controls all Iraqi air space, including Kurdistan's. Even before the current flight ban preventing international flights in and out of Kurdish airports, Iraq had the last say over who flies into Kurdistan. Baghdad blocked a Turkish flight in 2012 carrying Ankara's then energy minister Taner Yıldız.
 
UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson stated in a letter to PM Barzani on Wednesday that there is a "serious effort" in place to kick off talks between the two governments.
 
Erbil has expressed in clear terms that it is open for unconditional, open dialogue with Baghdad within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. Baghdad, on the other hand, demands the Kurdistan government accept all rulings of the Federal Court cancelling the "unconstitutional" referendum.
 
While criticizing the court's conduct, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has yet to make comment on the verdict.
 
German FM Gabriel in early November appealed to his country's parliament to extend its mission training the Peshmerga, arguing that international presence in the country would help prevent a civil war.
 
"The more international groups are active there, the lower the chance of a new escalation," Gabriel told reporters, according to Reuters. "A withdrawal would be the wrong signal to the parties to the conflict, as if we were resigned to accepting the danger of a new civil war."
 
About 130 German soldiers are based at the international anti-ISIS Combined Joint Operations Command Center, where they have worked with Iraqi and Kurdish commanders, in addition to Peshmerga units through the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center (KTTC).
 
German lawmakers last month agreed on a short-term extension of their deployment pending the formation of a new government after elections. The parliament must renew troop deployments annually.
 
Gabriel said he remained hopeful that a "fragile ceasefire" between Kurdish and Iraqi forces will hold and political solution can be found.
 
"A new civil war in Iraq would bring unbelievable suffering to this country, which has already suffered too much as a result of political conflicts in recent years," he said.

Comments

 
Muraz Adzhoev | 23/11/2017
Well, and then how did Germany respond to this absolutely unjustified tough diplomatic rudeness of Baghdad’s prime-minister al-Abadi instructed and led by the advisers of the Iranian regime? Is frau Merkel going to start straight military assistance to Erbil to help the Peshmerga army forces defend Kurdistan and protect the people of Kurdistan?
FAUthman | 23/11/2017
The more unreasonable Baghdad becomes the better and more reasonable Arbil may seem to the world. This tough talk by Abadi may go on until Iraqi elections in May are over. In the meantime cut through the back and forth talk in which the US said we are not interested in getting involved in, and look for: 1- International flights to Kurdistan to resume. 2- Salaries by Baghdad to KRG civil workers getting paid. Abadi may have the brains to let those two initiatives to happen soon. But do not bet on it since others may still tell him what to do though he seems to have become his own man!
George Ihlefeldt | 23/11/2017
Kurdistan's vote for independence is part of history now. 93%. Everything that happens until independence is just "water under the dam"...
Publish Me dude | 24/11/2017
When are Kurds going to stop crying so much? Stop being pathetic.
Jay | 24/11/2017
The arrogance and animosity Baghdad is showing towards Kurdistan is not in their interests, without Kurds Iraq could not have a functioning government. Iraq is already three or 4 parts, Basrah is a state on its own, sunni areas are lawless, Abadi is an Iranian puppet, the thugs and criminals of Hashd Alshaabi loot, kill, kidnap and take ransom in daylight. Kurdistan is the only safe place in Iraq and has a real security. The whole Iraqi government is confined in the green zone, the rest is as dangerous as hell. The problem is the West created this government with the help of Kurds and they have to deal with those incompetent personnel.
Post a New Comment
Comment as a guest or Login for more enhanced interactive experience

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Shkak | 12/17/2017 9:35:51 AM
Kurd, remain confident your state will emerge victorious .
The DAY of the KURDISH NATION | 12/17/2017 10:00:32 AM
On this day of the Kurdish Flag, the Kurdish boy is here to suggest to the competent Kurdish institutions and the citizenship in general to create...
Flag of Kurdistan proudly raised high at Flag Day events
| 5 hours ago | (2)
duroi | 12/17/2017 6:27:01 AM
So far the case against the Turkish banker Atilla is very weak and it all depends on the examination of Atilla by the prosecutors next week. If they...
Judge in Iran sanctions trial slams 'foreign conspiracy theory'
| 8 hours ago | (1)
guest2002 | 12/15/2017 7:43:15 PM
these two families seem to lack the ability to understand that kurds of bashur need more than just these family. just because he is someone's...
Azad | 12/17/2017 4:08:01 AM
Is this a joke or somebody try to Establish a pattern for hereditary in political parties. Qubad is a good guy or not should not be the issue here....
Qubad Talabani tipped for top PUK position: officials
| 14/12/2017 | (9)
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 12/16/2017 8:43:49 PM
Abadi chose to climb on the tiger's back and ride ... No matter what happens eventually, do not pity him.
duroi | 12/17/2017 3:18:54 AM
How come UN Security Council swiftly votes against the democratic exercise of referendum in Tuz Khurmatu and Kurdish areas, but it fails after 2...
UN probe confirms 100s of houses, businesses burned or bombed in Tuz Khurmatu
| 18 hours ago | (3)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

0.14 seconds