UN Voices Hope of Political Dialogue between Erbil, Baghdad

UN Voices Hope of Political Dialogue between Erbil, Baghdad

United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has expressed his support for political dialogue between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad on the basis of the Iraqi constitution.

In a letter sent to the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Guterres voiced hope over willingness expressed by Erbil and Baghdad for dialogue.

"I urge the two sides to move forward on the steps needed to secure a suitable ground for a real dialogue," the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) official website cited Guterres.

In the letter, Guterres further expressed the United Nations support for efforts by both Erbil and Baghdad to reduce unrest in the country.

“At a time when the threat of Islamic State is not yet over, there is need for national reconciliation and more stability to prevent unrest,” he continued.

Guterres comments come after the KRG said it is committed to a decision of the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court issued on November 6 regarding the interpretation of the Article 1 of the Iraqi constitution.

The Federal Court affirmed that the Iraqi constitution does not contain a text authorizing the secession of any of the components of Iraq, pointing out that the Constitution affirms the unity of the country.

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.”

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.