Seven-member committee to be formed to resolve issues between Baghdad, Erbil: Source

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Baghdad ( An informed source from the National Iraqi Alliance has indicated possibility to reach a solution for the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil soon, the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.

“The two parties will form a committee of seven members; five of them from Baghdad and two Kurdish others. It will review all the disputes between both sides,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying on Wednesday.

“The committee will also tackle all political and economic issues as well as the airports and borders issue. I expect it to yield a solution for the crisis soon,” the source added.

The remarks came amid contradicting news that Erbil approved handing over the border crossings and airports to the federal government, which are demands that the government considered as condition for negotiations since eruption of the crisis, when Kurdistan held its independence referendum in September.

Meanwhile, Renas Jano, spokesperson for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil is likely to be resolved soon, in case the government showed flexibility.

Kurdistan, according to Jano, “expressed wishes to facilitate the issues including the handover of border crossings, on condition that this happens in a civil not military way.”
He added that he does not mind in principle that the federal government supervise the crossings and airports, but “through negotiations not force.”

On Tuesday, Safeen Dizayee, a spokesperson of the Kurdish government, expressed refusal of handing over the border management to the federal government, saying that the law states joint administration. This came after Ihsan al-Shamri, an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, pointed out to several decisions by the government towards dialogue with Erbil, including Baghdad’s taking over of Kurdistan’s border crossings with Iran and Turkey, and forming a committee to regulate land ports, customs and airports.

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