Abadi Blocks Visit by German Foreign Minister to Kurdistan Region – Report
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi blocked a visit by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to the Kurdistan Region in an “undiplomatic way,” Der Spiegel reported on Thursday (November 23).
The German foreign minister planned to visit Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region in the beginning of November to mediate between both sides, according to the German magazine.
The minister cancelled the trip to Iraq after the Iraqi Premier blocked his visit to Erbil despite a green light to Baghdad.
Der Spiegel also reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone with Abadi to convince Abadi to allow the visit but the Iraqi premier insisted of blocking the trip to the region.
The decision is yet another move by Baghdad to impede resolution to tensions with Kurdistan
Since the Kurds held a referendum on independence of Kurdistan on Sept. 25, the Iraqi government has taken security and economic measures against the Region.
In Mid-October, Iraqi government launched an operation to retake disputed areas from the Kurdish forces in the wake of the referendum. The central government also banned international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region.
The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court last week said the Kurdish referendum was unconstitutional and has cancelled its results and consequences.
Though Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) froze the results of referendum and called for dialogue with the central government to resolve the issues, the Iraqi government demands annulment of the results of the referendum by the region.