Alwaght- The isolated Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has expressed willingness to hold negotiations with the Iraqi government after a controversial referendum in the region.
In a statement issued overnight, the KRG said it was willing to discuss its dispute with Baghdad over Kurdish airports, border posts and banks on which they placed restrictions following an independence referendum on 25 September.
Baghdad took the measures to isolate the KRG that held a non-binding referendum on secession from Iraq in defiance of stiff opposition from the central government in Baghdad and much of the international community.
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 are ready to any form 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 independence vote as against the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government spokesman has rejected speculations about Iraq’s alleged plans to invade the Kurdistan region, saying Baghdad will only fight ISIS Takfiri terrorists.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has reaffirmed the country’s determination to protect its Kurdish population against any threats amid the ongoing tensions.
Political observers have warned that KRG’s referendum scenario is in line with US and Israel’s policy of dividing the regional Muslim states.