Kurdish PM says ready to cooperate with Baghdad to secure disputed areas

Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani

Erbil ( – Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani voiced on Wednesday his government’s readiness to cooperate with the federal government in Baghdad to secure disputed areas.

Iraqi website Baghdad Today quoted Barzani as saying that the Kurdish government “is ready to cooperate with Baghdad to secure disputed area against the threat of the terrorist Islamic State group.”

Barzani warned that the IS group “poses a serious threat to Baghdad, Erbil and all governorates,” adding that the Kurdish parties will continue talks with all Iraqi parties to form a new government.

Iraq lifted in March an embargo it imposed on Kurdistan Region since the September poll in which the autonomous region voted for independence from the central government.

The decision came after the local authorities in Kurdistan Region reciprocated to returning the federal authority to Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports.

Kurds voted overwhelmingly to break away from Iraq in a referendum held on Sept. 25, defying the central government in Baghdad as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran who have their own Kurdish minorities.

Iraqi government forces and the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces launched a surprise offensive on Oct. 16 in retaliation. Government forces managed to wrest back control of the oil city of Kirkuk and other disputed territories.

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