KRG Delegation to Make First Official Visit to Baghdad since Referendum

KRG Delegation to Make First Official Visit to Baghdad since Referendum

A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is set to depart to Baghdad on Saturday (January 13) for talks with Iraqi officials in the first official visit since the Kurdistan independence referendum.

The KRG delegation is expected to discuss issues related to the region’s international airports and border points, which have been core causes of the deteriorated relations between Erbil and Baghdad.

Among the Kurdish delegation are KRG Interior Minister Karim Sinjari and Minister of Transportation Mawlood Bawa Murad who are set to meet with Mahdi Al-Alaq Secretary General of Iraq's Council of Ministers, the Interior Minister and other Iraqi officials.

Two days after the controversial independence referendum by the Kurdistan region, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority sent a notice to foreign airlines telling them that international flights to Erbil and Sulaimani in the Kurdish region would be suspended and only domestic flights allowed.

International flights to and from the Kurdistan Region’s international airports have been suspended since September 29, and recently extended to February 28, following a decision from the central government after the region refused to hand over the airports

With the closing of Kurdistan’s airports, every traveler from the region, who wants to leave the country by air, has to go first to Baghdad airport, which means that he or she will bear the cost of an additional flight between the region and Baghdad.