By Rudaw 2 hours ago
President Barzani met with the Iraqi delegation on Saturday morning to discuss the nature of the relationship between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. Photo:Rudaw video.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—President Masoud Barzani received a delegation of Iraqi “decision makers” on Saturday to discuss “a new formula of relations” with Baghdad in the future.
The delegation includes people from the Iraqi media, political parties, and intellectuals, the spokesperson for the Kurdish president told Rudaw.
Omed Sabah said the delegation includes “decision makers” representing the Iraqi politics and the Iraqi government. It consists of people who are from “the majority of the [Shiite] national alliance, the parties outside the alliance, and Sunnis.”
The delegation first met President Barzani Saturday morning, and was then scheduled to have a meeting with the Kurdish presidency to discuss “in depth” the nature of a future relationship between Kurdistan Region and Iraq, Sabah said.
“It is about how to find a new formula for relations of Kurdistan Region with Iraq through dialogue,” Sabah added, “We want to establish our new relations between us, the Kurdistan Region, with Iraq by dialogue.”
Sabah said that one of the aims of this meeting was to bring Kurdish-Iraqi meetings to the ground level as opposed to meetings between leaders.
President Barzani said in a recent interview with an Italian newspaper that Iraq is already divided, and that he sees a breakup of the country after the defeat of the ISIS group in Mosul where an alliance of Kurdish and Iraqi forces are fighting against the extremist group.
Barzani also reiterated his position on the self-determination for the Kurdish nation, adding that an independent Kurdistan will bring stability to an otherwise troubled Middle East plagued with sectarian wars.
This assessment of the Kurdish leader is in clear contrast with that of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Aabdi.
Abadi said that those who thought Iraq was over after the arrival of the ISIS group in Iraq were wrong. He said Iraq is now moving forward with unprecedented cooperation between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi army as they fight a common enemy, ISIS.
Kurdish leaders have long said that the good cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad is confined to military corporation, and that in other aspects relations still remain strained, especially with regard to dispute over the oil revenues.