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Iraq PM vows to lift Kurdistan air embargo if govt conditions met

FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attends a news conference in Kirkuk, Iraq, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed/File Photo


Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed to lift an air embargo imposed on Kurdistan Region if its authorities yield to the federal government’s conditions.

Speaking during his weekly press briefing, Abadi said that “at all world countries, border crossings are in the hands of the federal government”, adding that “the (Iraqi) federal government will lift the international embargo on Kurdistan Region’s airports in case all of its demands are fulfilled”.

Last Thursday, Kurdish officials confirmed reports that the Iraqi government had decided to partially lift an embargo imposed on the autonomous region’s airports. Head of Kurdistan’s pilgrimage directorate, Qassem Rasoul, said the authority received an approval fromAbadi to run pilgrims flights from and to Sulaimaniyah and Erbil airports.

The Baghdad-based Iraqi government had imposed an embargo on flights on both airports following a vote for independence the autonomous region’s government ran in September, which Baghdad deemed illegal.

Recent reports have pointed to imminent talks between both governments to resolve pending disputes over the administration of the region’s airports as well as other contentious subjects.

As part of talks to end the crisis, Baghdad has asked to hand over management of the airports to its central aviation authorities, as well as revoking the results of the controversial referendum.

 


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