Passengers are seen at Erbil airport, in the capital of Kurdistan Region on September 28, 2017. Iraq has ordered all international flights to and from Kurdistan to be suspended over Monday's independence referendum. / Photo: AFP/Safin Hamed
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) rejected all rulings issued by the Iraqi parliament and government against the Kurdistan Region, describing the resolutions as “collective punishment of the Kurdistan nation.”
The KRG met on Thursday to discuss a flight ban on Erbil and Sulaimani airports, as well as a 12-point decree passed by the Iraqi parliament on Wednesday that, among others, asked the federal government to deploy forces to the Peshmerga-held Kurdistani areas such as the oil-rich Kirkuk province and called for foreign missions to close their offices in Kurdistan.
In a statement released after the meeting, the KRG said it will take legal measures to appeal the “illegal and unconstitutional” decrees issued by the Iraqi parliament against the Kurdistan Region.
Citing the constitution, the KRG stated “the federal authority is not entitled to reduce the constitutional authorities of the Kurdistan Region,” which it has attempted to do in the measures introduced by the parliament and central government after the referendum.
Iraqi Security Council rulings will not be executed in the Kurdistan Region, the KRG stated, as the Region is outside the authority of the federal government. The KRG will be committed to own Security Council’s decrees, it said.
Addressing specific issues, the KRG slammed the flight ban, troop deployment, and moves against foreign representations.
The KRG described Baghdad’s “flight ban” against “the Kurdistan Region’s international airports as completely illegal and unconstitutional and contrary to international rules and regulations and the Chicago International Aviation Treaty stipulating that airports cannot be used in political matters to oppress and deter people.”
Since the Erbil and Sulaimani airports opened, they have been under the patronage and watch of the federal government's civic aviation authority following Iraqi regulations, the KRG stated. Iraqi supervisors and observers have regularly visited the airports to ensure operations comply with regulations, the statement pointed out.
Deploying troops to disputed areas violates Article 9, Section 1 of the Iraqi constitution that stipulates that “Iraqi armed forces and security forces cannot be used against any component of Iraq,” the statement read.
Baghdad also does not have the authority to close border gates, the KRG asserted. Under the constitution, that is the purview of the regions.
Concerning diplomatic missions, which Baghdad has ordered shut, the KRG argued the central government does not have the authority to make such a decision. Foreign representations are regulated according to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Optional Protocols.
Despite the crumbling relationship between Erbil and Baghdad, the KRG stressed it would continue to assist displaced Iraqis who have sheltered in the Kurdistan Region. Iraq’s decrees will have “no negative impact” on the treatment of IDPs, the statement said.
Last updated at 7:38 pm