10/20/2017, 10.13
IRAQ
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Erbil and Baghdad propose tentative dialogue, crux of referendum

The regional authorities open to talks with the central government according to Constitution and in a perspective of partnership. An Iraqi court orders the arrest of Kurdish President Kosrat Rasul. First frictions within political leadership in Erbil after the "cataclysm" that led to the loss of territories occupied after the US invasion.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Iraqi Kurdistan regional authorities declare themselves ready to engage in dialogue with central government in Baghdad after the army quickly captured territories - including Kirkuk - long-controlled by Erbil. "The Kurdistan [regional] executive [reads] an official note welcomes [Iraqi] prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s initiative aimed at launching negotiations to resolve outstanding issues, in accordance with the dictates of the constitution and in a perspective of partnership. "

The statement was circulated by the top officials of Erbil at the end of a government meeting led by Kurdish Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani and Vice-Premier Qubad Talabani. "Kurdistan - continues the text - calls for the help and contribution of the international community in the pursuit of this desired dialogue" with Baghdad.

In recent days, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi opened to dialogue with Erbil after weeks of heavy tensions that fostered fears of the outbreak of a new conflict. Various religious and intellectual personalities have warned against this possibility, including Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako who in a letter renewed the call for dialogue.

The primate of the Chaldean Church underlined the importance of a "cooperation" among the various Iraqi leaders to create a "common front" against the danger of "new conflicts". The primate of the Iraqi Church recalled the primary duty to "protect people before oil wells" must be pursued.

The Iraqi Prime Minister's response was in an official note, stating that the referendum on Kurdish independence of September 25 was "concluded" and "is part of the past." “Its results" he added served  to start a sincere and constructive dialogue.

For al-Abadi, the definitive archiving of the results of this consultation, which has been overwhelmingly "yes", is one of the conditions required to open a dialogue with the autonomous region. But while the prime minister is launching dialogue, the country's magistrate is striving to strike top regional authorities: yesterday an Iraqi court ordered the arrest of Kurdish President Kosrat Rasul for defining the regular army intervention in Kirkuk as a "occupying power ".

According to judges, the vice president's words are an incitement to violence.

Meanwhile, the first fractures are emerging among the Kurdish regional leadership, following the territorial losses of recent days. French geographer Cyril Roussel speaks of "cataclysm" for Kurdistan, which has "lost everything". A "defeat rarely seen," he adds, with the Peshmerga dispossessed of  90% of the territories won after the US invasion in Iraq in 2003. Today, the borders correspond mostly to the green line, the demarcation set in 1991 at the time of the ceasefire between the Kurds and the army of former Rais Saddam Hussein, which was the basis of the 2005 negotiations. (DS)

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