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Conflicting Reports Emerge on Abadi’s Initiative on Erbil

Conflicting Reports Emerge on Abadi’s Initiative on Erbil

Tuesday, 26 December, 2017 - 08:00
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. (AFP)

Conflicting reports emerged on Monday concerning the visit by two Iraqi ministers from Haidar al-Abadi’s government to the Kurdistan Region.

Iraq’s Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji and Defense Minister Irfan Hayali are expected to visit Erbil to discuss the border-crossings and airports.

The visit will be a culmination of many initiatives and the expressed readiness for talks with Baghdad and international efforts to bring Erbil and Baghdad to the negotiating table, reported the Rudaw news agency on Monday.

“International and internal pressures have an influence over the visit of the two ministers to the Kurdistan Region,” Masoud Haidar, a Change Movement MP in Baghdad said.

He added that the visit is linked to the comments by former Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, in which he called for dialogue between the two sides and criticized the punishing procedures taken against the Kurdistan Region.

However, an Iraqi official source told Ashraq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity that Abadi does not want to dispatch his two ministers to the Kurdistan Region. “There is no information in this regard,” the source said.

At the current moment, the source ruled out that Abadi could send the two ministers to Erbil on grounds that if a dialogue between the two sides takes place, it would be held on other recognized bases.

On the letter addressed lately by Iraqi President Fouad Massoum to each of Abadi, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres concerning the need to start talks between Baghdad and Erbil, Kurdish sources uncovered the presence of another letter addressed by Barzani to Abadi in this regard.

Rudaw said that in his letter, Barzani told the Iraqi PM that the two sides should not respond to each other via press conferences. He said the only way to reach a solution is through dialogue.

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