MESOP NEWS “TESTING & TALKING” : Progress in First High-Level Talks between Baghdad, Erbil

Sunday, 14 January, 2018 – 10:45 – Baghdad, Erbil – Asharq Al-Awsat

A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government, who visited Baghdad on Saturday, said that talks with the federal government were positive, noting that representatives from Baghdad would visit Erbil on Monday to discuss the resumption of international flights at Kurdistan airports and controversial issues between the two sides. Iraqi Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji reiterated the need to discuss solving problems of the international entry points, customs, airports, and dams “on the basis of the constitution and federal laws,” a statement published by the Kurdish delegation said, as reported by Rudaw news agency.

According to the statement, the Iraqi minister told the Kurdish delegation that the Iraqi prime minister has emphasized the need to solve problems between Erbil and Baghdad in a way that allows institutions such as the airports to “resume their activities.”

The two sides have agreed to hold a bilateral meeting in Erbil on Monday to prepare a joint statement that will include “solutions to be reached,” Rudaw said. Iraqi Interior Minister Spokesman, Saad Maan, described the meeting as productive, adding that the Kurdish delegation showed a “clear understanding” in solving the problems “based on the constitution.”“The meeting was fruitful and an atmosphere of harmony and understanding prevailed,” he stated. He added that the two delegations would hold a second meeting on Monday to discuss “details” of pending issues.