Iraqi Kurdish parties to open independence talks with Baghdad

The flags of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government fly side by side. (Rudaw photo)

A delegation formed of Kurdish parties from the Kurdistan Region of Northern Iraq will meet with officials in Baghdad to discuss complete secession.

According to Kurdish news outlet Rudaw, the decision to enter a new round of talks for independence from Baghdad was taken at a recent meeting the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

“The delegation will consist of representatives from the five parties involved in the government cabinet, together with Turkmen, Chaldean, and Assyrian delegates,” Saadi Pire, a politburo member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, told Rudaw.

KDP spokesperson Mahmood Mohammed said Iraq had failed as a unified state and under federalism. The proposal which will be put forward for discussion “is to become two different governments next to each other and be good neighbours,” said Mohammed.

Kurdish parties and the government in Baghdad were brought together by the US administration last year to unite forces in the capture of Mosul from the Islamic State.

Tensions had been high between the parties after the Kurdistan region began selling its own oil, accusing Baghdad government of violating agreements and cutting the budget allocated to the region. Baghdad has refused to recognise independence in the past.