KRG says willing to discuss row over airports, banks with Iraq

Ersin Çelik
09:31 - 12/10/2017 Thursday
Update: 12:06 - 12/10/2017 Thursday
KRG President Masoud Barzani
KRG President Masoud Barzani

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is willing to hold talks with the Iraqi government about a dispute over airports, border posts and banks, it said a statement published overnight.

The central Iraqi government has taken measures to isolate the KRG in the country's north after it held an illegitimate independence referendum last month.

The government in Baghdad, which declared the vote illegal, imposed a ban on direct international flights to the northern region. It also demanded that the KRG hand over control of its border posts, and stopped selling dollars to four Kurdish-owned banks.

"To avoid this collective punishment, we invite (Iraqi Prime Minister) Haider al-Abadi, again, that we ready to any from of dialogue and negotiations in conformity with the Iraqi Constitution," the KRG said a statement published overnight.

It offered discussions "regarding the crossings, internal trade, providing services to the citizens, the banks and the airports."

Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council issued arrest warrants on Wednesday for the chairman of the Kurdish referendum commission and two aides for "violating a valid (Iraqi) court ruling" banning the vote as against the Constitution.

Neighboring Iran and Turkey back Iraq's stance against the non-binding referendum.

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