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Informed Source to Asharq Al-Awsat: Prospects for Baghdad-Erbil Deal

Informed Source to Asharq Al-Awsat: Prospects for Baghdad-Erbil Deal

Wednesday, 3 January, 2018 - 07:45
File photo, Kurdistan referendum/AFP

There have been signs of a possible agreement between Baghdad and Erbil to overcome the repercussions of a referendum on independence held by the Kurdistan Region last September.

An informed source from the parliamentary Shi’ite National Alliance bloc told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday that a possible agreement might be reached “in the near future” to solve the pending issues between the two sides.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said: “The two sides are about to form a seven-member committee, including five members from Baghdad and two others from Kurdistan, with a mission to review all controversial issues between the two sides.”

The source added that the committee would be tasked with delicately discussing the political and economic files and the issues of borders and airports. “We expect its mission to produce fruitful results soon to solve the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil,” he said.

The comments came amid conflicting reports concerning Erbil’s approval to hand over the management of the borders, airports and custom to Baghdad.

While a close aid to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that Erbil had accepted to hand over such management to Baghdad, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson Safeen Dizayee denied the reports.

However, he said, “The KRG is ready to hold dialogue with the Iraqi government over managing the border crossings and the airports in accordance with the mechanism set by the Iraqi Constitution.”

Dizayee said on Tuesday that his government welcomes any positive steps to launch dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad.

“[The KRG] welcomes any positive steps for a dialogue toward resolving the issues between the Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government of Iraq on the basis of the Iraqi Constitution,” Dizayee said.

The spokesperson also highlighted signs that Baghdad had "good intentions," notably through an Iraqi government delegation’s planned visit to Kurdistan and the forming of joint committees for talks on borders, airports, and dams in the Kurdistan Region.

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