Abadi rejects Turkey’s meditation on border crossings issue with Erbil: MP

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (left) shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a visit to Tukey.

Baghdad ( Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has rejected a request by Turkish President over the border exits, a parliamentarian source said on Sunday.

Speaking to Baghdad Today on Sunday, the source said “Kurdistan Region’s premier, Nechirvan Barzani urged, during his recent visit to Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meditate and intervene to resolve the border exits issue.”

Consequently, according to the source, “Erdogan submitted a proposal to Abadi to resolve the issue through joint administration between Baghdad and Erbil.”

“Abadi refused and stressed necessity that the federal government imposes control on all border exits,” the source added.

In a press conference on Thursday, Barzani expressed his government’s readiness to discuss all pending issues with Baghdad and to act according to the constitution in relation to airports and border crossings “with utmost transparency”. This came after news reports quoted Salem al-Sudani, a spokesperson of the Iraqi transport ministry, as denying reports that Baghdad extended a flight embargo on Kurdistan airports by two months.

Iraqi government forces approached the southern borders of Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, after taking over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in October, fulfilling instructions made by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan.

Baghdad had declared intentions to retake areas disputed on with Erbil, as well as border crossings, following the Kurdistan’s vote for independence from Iraq in September.

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