Abadi and Macron Confirm Need for Dialogue to Mend Erbil-Baghdad Ties

Abadi and Macron Confirm Need for Dialogue to Mend Erbil-Baghdad Ties

 French President, Emmanuel Macron held a telephone call on Saturday (December 2) with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi seeking to support relations between Erbil and Baghdad.

During the phone call, which came after his meeting with Kurdish Prime Minister in Paris earlier in the day, Macron reportedly expressed support for federal authority over the country’s entire territory and border points.

According to Abadi’s media office, Macron also expressed his country’s support for Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity.

“[Iraqi] Prime Minister and the French President have confirmed the need to resolve the problems through dialogue and adherence to the constitution and unity of Iraq's territories,” the official website of Iraqi PM reported.

“Abadi has confirmed the importance of unifying all efforts to face the challenges of construction, rebuilding, and the requirements of the victory and liberation stages,” it cited Abadi.

All Iraqis need to be employed and economically supported in a fair manner, and within the framework of the constitution, to get through the economic difficulties the country is facing, Abadi said.

The Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani on Saturday (December 2) paid a visit to Paris on an official invitation by French government.

During a joint press conference with Macron, Barzani expressed readiness for dialogue with Baghdad over border posts between the Kurdistan Region and neighboring countries, as well as to mend relations and find common ground.

“France can have an effective role in resolving issues between Erbil and Baghdad,” Barzani said, referring to France’s position towards Erbil as “historic.”

Tensions between the KRG and the central government hit a high in 2015, after officials from both sides accused each other of failing to abide by the terms of an oil revenue sharing deal struck by officials in December 2014.

Since the referendum, Baghdad has taken economic and military measures, exerting greater control over the region’s border points and international airports and seizing large swathes of territory disputed between Erbil and Baghdad.

In mid-October, Iraqi forces along with Hashid al-Shaabi launched an operation to take control of the disputed areas from the Kurdish forces in the wake of the Kurdish referendum on independence.