KRG to respect court ruling banning secession

ŞEYMA NAZLI GÜRBÜZ @SeymNazli
ISTANBUL
Published

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said yesterday that it would respect the Iraqi Supreme Federal Court's decision that prohibits the region from seceding, indicating that it could be the possible basis for inclusive dialogue between Irbil and Baghdad.

Last week, the Iraqi court ruled that the country's constitution does not allow any secession attempts made by any part of Iraq.

"We believe that this decision must become a basis for starting an inclusive national dialogue between Irbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes," the KRG said in a statement.According to Özcan Tikit, a columnist for the Habertürk daily, which focuses on developments in the region, Irbil has already shown willingness to find an honorable way out from the crisis by going for a change of leadership.

"Irbil has realized that having dialogue with Baghdad is more crucial than anything. The court's decision has offered the chance to have dialogue with Baghdad and Irbil wants to use this opportunity," Tikit said. He added, however, that he is not quite sure if Irbil's attempt would get a positive response from Baghdad.

The Supreme Federal Court of Iraq is responsible for settling disputes between the Iraqi central government and the country's other regions and provinces. Its decisions cannot be appealed, although it has no mechanism to enforce its ruling in the KRG.

Earlier in September, the KRG defied the central government and held an independence referendum. Baghdad ruled it illegal. Neighboring Turkey and Iran, which have their own Kurdish minorities, also strongly decried the Iraqi Kurdish independence vote.

In the weeks following the referendum, Iraqi government forces moved into several parts of the country disputed between Baghdad and the Irbil, including oil-rich Kirkuk province.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said yesterday that the government measures in the disputed areas serve Kurds the best.

In a statement, Abadi's office said the government recently held a meeting with the head of the United Nations' mission in Iraq, Jan Kubis. They discussed the measures taken to impose its authority in disputed areas and at airports and border crossings.

They also focused on the return of displaced people and U.N. assistance to restore stability in areas recaptured from Daesh, the statement added.

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