Baghdad says Erbil must abide by Iraq's sovereignty, unity before talks

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-15 20:14:30|Editor: Song Lifang
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi government on Sunday reiterated its stance that the Kurdish semi-autonomous region must recognize Iraq's national sovereignty and abides by preserving its unity before any talks that aimed at defusing the crisis between Baghdad and the region.

"The situation in different; the dialogue before the referendum is not as after it. Therefore, the local government in the (Kurdish) region must declare its commitment to the constitution and national constants before entering into the details of any dialogue," Saad al-Hadithi said in an interview with the state-run al-Iraqiya channel.

"The federal government is obliged, according to the constitution, to impose security and maintain order and protect citizens in all parts of Iraq without exception," Hadithi said, asserting that the Iraqi constitution set the mandate of the central government on the disputed areas, including Kirkuk.

"The referendum showed the tendency of the Kurds towards secession, therefore, the government of the region should provide assurance that such tendencies will not be repeated in the future," he added.

On Sept. 27, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on the Kurdish regional government to cancel the results of the controversial independence referendum.

"We want Kurdistan region to cancel the outcomes of the referendum if they want to start talks with Baghdad, which must be under the roof of the constitution," Abadi told the lawmaker when attended a parliament session to discuss the crisis with the Kurds.

Baghdad government also adopted punitive measures that included suspension of international flights to the Kurdish region and blocked all the border crossings which are outside the control of the federal authorities, and called on the neighboring countries (Turkey and Iran) to help Iraq in implementing its measures.

The independence of Kurdistan is opposed not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by most other countries, because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and undermine the fight against Islamic State militants.

Iraq's neighboring countries, especially Turkey, Iran and Syria, fear that the Iraqi Kurdish independence move would threaten their territorial integrity, as large population of Kurds live in those countries.

The U.S. had repeatedly warned the Kurds to postpone the referendum, saying such move could derail or confuse the war against IS.