UN welcomes Baghdad decision to resume flights to Kurdish airports

Sulaimaniyah International Airport

Baghdad ( – The United Nations welcomed on Wednesday the announcement of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to reopen international airports in the Kurdistan Region to international flights.

In a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Xendan, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq Mr. Ján Kubiš hailed the decision as a “significant positive step” that would help boost cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil.

“This is a significant positive step that is certain to boost the atmosphere of partnership cooperation between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government,” Mr. Kubiš said.

He stressed that the decision to resume flights from and to the Kurdistan Region “has shown that problems and pending issues can be resolved through constructive partnership dialogue under the Iraqi Constitution.”

Kubiš further called for the speedy implementation of this decision and continued dialogue to resolve all other outstanding issues.

Abadi announced on Tuesday lifting a ban on international flights to the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, which has taken effect since a September poll in which the Kurds voted for independence from the central government.

Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani hailed the decision to resume flights to the region’s two main airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah as an “important step” towards the settlement of other pending issues between Baghdad and Erbil.

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