Alwaght- Iraq lifted on Tuesday a ban it had imposed on Kurdistan Region since a secessionist plebiscite the region’s leaders held last September.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a decree on Tuesday he would lift a ban on international air traffic to the Kurdistan Region and flights could resume within one week.
Kurdish authorities have agreed that the airports should come under federal control and report to Baghdad’s interior ministry, the decree said.
“The opening of Kurdish airports to international flights is an important step,” Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told a news conference according to Kurdish Rudaw TV. “We hope more significant steps will be taken.”
Only domestic flights have been allowed through the region’s airports, with foreign airlines suspending their routes in accordance with an order from the central government.
The referendum on secession of the Kurdistan region was held despite strong opposition from Iraqi authorities, the international community, and Iraq's neighboring countries, especially Turkey and Iran.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi military has denied reports about demarcating borders between the central government in Baghdad and northern Iraq's Kurdish region.
Local media said Monday Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) had agreed to demarcate a border between the two sides, in an effort to solve the issue of the deployment of Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
In a statement, military spokesman Brigadier-General Yehia Rasul described the reports as "groundless".
"There is no truth in reports about an agreement between the central government and KRG on demarcating border and return of Peshmerga forces," he said.