Mcgurk Affirms Importance of Talks to Resolve Issues between Baghdad, Erbil

Mcgurk Affirms Importance of Talks to Resolve Issues between Baghdad, Erbil

 U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State (ISIS) Brett McGurk reaffirmed the importance of dialogue under the Iraqi constitution to resolve the issues between Baghdad and Erbil.  

McGurk arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday night (November 15) to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other senior Iraqi leaders, he tweeted early on Thursday.

The U.S. special presidential envoy discussed final phase of operations to defeat ISIS in Iraq and preparations for accelerated phase stabilization with the senior Iraqi officials.  

“Reviewed upcoming surprises for #ISIS terrorists with PM Abadi & LTG Paul Funk last night in #Baghdad,” McGurk tweeted. “Affirmed importance of dialogue under the constitution to resolve outstanding issues with #KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government].”

The latest feud between Erbil and Baghdad stems from Baghdad’s economic and military measures in retaliation for the Kurdistan referendum on Sept. 25, which saw 92.7 percent of the population vote in favor of independence.

KRG expressed readiness to hold talks with Baghdad to resolve the issues between both sides according to the Iraqi Constitution. However, the Iraqi government has not yet responded to their requests to meet.

Iraqi government’s spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said on Wednesday that the Kurdistan Region’s declaration of respect for the Federal Court’s interpretation of Article 1 of the Iraqi constitution was a means to “annul the independence referendum.”

KRG said it respected decision No. 122 of the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court regarding the interpretation of the Article 1 of the Iraqi constitution.

Rather, Article 1 says, “The Republic of Iraq is a federal, independent and fully sovereign state in which the system of government is a parliamentary and democratic republic, and this constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq.”  

In its decision at the request of the Iraqi Council of Ministers to consider the September 25 independence referendum, the Federal Supreme Court ruled that there is no provision in the constitution that allows for the separation of any of its components [provinces or regions] provided for in Article 116 of the Constitution under its provisions.