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US: Abadi’s flight-ban on Kurdistan not constructive

By Rudaw 27/9/2017
She described both the Iraqi and Kurdish governments as “friends” with whom the US government has close relations. Photo: Screenshot
She described both the Iraqi and Kurdish governments as “friends” with whom the US government has close relations. Photo: Screenshot
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The US State Department has said that they are calling on both Erbil and Baghdad to “engage constructively” following the Kurdistan referendum, saying a possible flight ban announced by the Iraqi prime minister on Tuesday is not a positive development.
PM Haider al-Abadi announced the decision in his weekly news conference after the meeting of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. If Erbil does not comply within the three days, Baghdad will close the airports, he asserted.
Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters on Tuesday that they consider the Kurdistan vote as “unilateral” and they are deeply disappointed the vote went ahead despite opposition from the US and other countries.
She described both the Iraqi and Kurdish governments as “friends” with whom the US government has close relations.
Asked about the flight ban, she said they recommend continued talks between the two sides in a constructive way, something that is not being served if Iraq imposes the flight ban.
“I have certainly seen that report. I am aware of it, and one of the things we would do is call on all sides to engage constructively. That, if that is in fact accurate, would not be an example of engaging constructively. We want the – both sides to come together and have some conversation and be able to move things forward, but do it in a constructive fashion,” Nauert said.
She said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had phone calls with both the Iraqi prime minister and Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani “in recent days.”
She emphasized that the US supports a united, federal and democratic Iraq.


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FAUthman | 27/9/2017
So Kurdistan airspace gets closed for a while, big deal except of course for US and coalition aircraft. What if international fights ignore Baghdad's denial to land in or take off from Arbil and Sulaimani airports. This tit for tat will go on for a while as expected, then everyone will tire and calm down, and may be talks will begin and some lingering problems get resolved. Turkey is not doing a thing against the referendum and that is what counts. As long as the oil flow to Ceyhan you have nothing to worry about. Kurds won a solid referendum 3.3 mil ballots cast, 72% turnout, with 91% saying "yes" to independence, no one can ignore that. It is a different world now!
Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 27/9/2017
US is to blame no one but itself, nothing but negative statements about the legitimate Kurdish referendum to a point Turkey, Abadi and Iran started thinking they could invade Kurditan and US will cheer for them. I think we Kurds should look for new friends like Russia.
Muraz Adzhoev | 27/9/2017
The problem is that it is not realistic at all for the US to have the two (Iraqi and Kurdistan) governments as equal “friends” with whom the US government has close relations, because what the US supports as a united, federal and democratic Iraq is, has been and will be in fact absolutely impossible, especially now after the People of Southern Kurdistan has clearly self-determined its final justified, democratic and legitimately expressed political, national and patriotic will on full sovereign independence from the deadly failed "one Iraq" project of the "free partnership union" called officially as Iraqi Arab Islamic federation. The US must admit at last that two sovereignly independent and neighboring states of Iraq and (Southern) Kurdistan as the US friends, at least and exactly Kurdistan as a real and reliable one, is the only and the most reasonable decision actually in favor of all the three sides, as well as in terms of peace, security and stability also in favor of Israel and the Middle East Region as a whole, including certainly Turkey and even Iran.
Peter | 27/9/2017
i wonder how Iraq expects to enforce a flight ban with them still not allowed to fly over Kurdistan? also i would imagine the kurds have weapons to shoot them down if they try
A Kurd in exile | 27/9/2017
Sorry Heather! A "united, federal and democratic Iraq" has never existed. You and your pro-Turkish/anti-Kurdish friends in the State Department better get used to the fact that the Kurdish people in Southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) now consider themselves free and independent from Iraq. To us, the Kurds, Iraq is dead. May it rest in peace!

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