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KRG delegation arrives in Iraqi capital for talks

Monitoring Desk

BAGHDAD: The Interior Minister of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), Karim Sinjari, arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for the first visit by an official delegation since last year’s controversial referendum on Kurdish regional independence.

“The visit is very important for both parties for reaching understandings regarding airports and border crossings,” Kurdish MP Najiba Najib told Anadolu Agency.

She said Sinjari and Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji “agree [on the need] to reach solutions to unresolved problems”.

The MP argued that the problem lies with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi “who takes individual decisions without taking into account the interests of all parties”.

“The closure of airports [in the Kurdish region] has directly affected citizens,” she said.

Tension has mounted between Baghdad and the KRG since Sept. 25, when the latter held an illegitimate referendum on regional independence.

In the wake of the poll, Iraqi government forces have moved into several parts of the country “disputed” between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.

The central government has also imposed a raft of sanctions on the Kurdish region, including a ban on international flights.

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