Kurdish govt: no handover of borders to Iraq, joint management instead

A man holds the Kurdish flag on September 4, 2011 during a demonstration in Stockholm against operations by Iran and Turkey against Kurdish separatist rebels in Iraq. AFP PHOTO /JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Baghdad ( Kurdistan government has rejected handing over the autonomous region’s border management to the Iraqi federal cabinet, saying that the law instead provides for joint administration.

“Instructions and laws emphasize on joint administration and oversight on border crossings,and the region is prepared to discuss matters related to airports and border crossings,”Safeen Dizayee, a spokesperson of the Kurdish government, told Iraqi website Alghad Press.

“There is no phrase in the law or the instructions that provide for handing over crossings and airports, but instead for a joint administration”, Dizayee said, adding that “Kurdistan Region was, from the beginning, for resolving the problem through dialogue, and certainly technical issues require dialogue more than anything else”.

Dizayee added that no talks have been held between Baghdad and Erbil to that end. ‘We can see a desire (to hold talks) from our brothers in Baghdad according to statements by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

A crisis erupted between Baghdad and Erbil following Kurdistan Region’s vote in September to secede from Iraq, a measure which Baghdad deemed unconstitutional, consequently taking penal economic measures that included an air embargo and a withholding of employee payments.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ihsan al-Shamri, an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, said the government adopted a number of decisions towards dialogue with Erbil, which involve “(Baghdad’s) taking over of Kurdistan’s border crossings with Iran and Turkey, and forming a high committee to regulate land ports, customs and airports”.

Speaking to the Iraqi independent New Sabah newspaper on Monday, cabinet spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said technical talks with Kurdistan were “necessary” to resolve pending issues including “border crossings, airports, oil fields and their exports, water resources and the Region’s employee salaries”.


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