“The EU notes with satisfaction the election of the President and the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government after the holding of regional elections in September 2018,” the European Union Council, that consists of leaders from EU member states, said.
The new Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, announced the establishment of a new cabinet on Wednesday and promised to strengthen the autonomous region and introduce reforms in all government sectors.
The EU welcomed the “improved relations between the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and encourages both parties to maintain the dialogue based on the Constitution of Iraq.”
It also said there is a need for joint work between Erbil and Baghdad “to improve governance and security coordination in the disputed territories, [which] is especially needed.”
Security in the disputed territories worsened in October 2017 when Baghdad’s troops and the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias attacked Kirkuk and other contested areas, forcing the withdrawal of Kurdish Peshmerga.
The disputed territories have been plagued by Islamic State activities despite the terror group’s military defeat.
In a meeting with senior US officials in late June, Barzani, the then-Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Chancellor, highlighted the importance of restoring joint security cooperation between Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to reinstate security in these territories.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Barzani called for further progress in developing a stable and constructive partnership with the Iraqi government.
“Erbil and Baghdad both want security and prosperity, built on a foundation of mutual respect and cooperation,” he said.
Delavar Ajgeiy, the KRG representative to the EU, welcomed the Council’s statement on the formation of a new KRG and the election of a new Kurdish leadership.
“It means that the stability of the Kurdistan Region and its political development is important for EU and European countries,” Ajgeiy told Kurdistan 24, adding theEU follows developments in the autonomous Kurdish region closely.
However, he underlined that it is more important that the EU encourages a dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad based on the Iraqi Constitution.
According to Ajgeiy, the Kurdistan Region leadership has also asked for dialogue “since the Iraqi people, with a majority, voted and supported this constitution.”
“The implementation and respect for the constitution is the key solution for all disputes between Baghdad and Erbil.”
The KRG official also welcomed suggestions to improve security cooperation between the ISF and Peshmerga in disputed territories.
“We all know that the return of Peshmerga to these areas is crucial” to provide “stability and security for the people” in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.
“The EU can play an important role [in] encouraging both [parties] to respect and implement the constitution,” he concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany