KRG Seeking to Boost Iran Ties: PM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) voiced Erbil’s eagerness to strengthen relations with Tehran under a new protocol.
The Iraqi Kurdish region is formulating a new protocol to enhance relations and cooperation with Iran, Nechirvan Barzani said in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Sunday evening.
Barzani also praised the Islamic Republic for its support for the people of the Iraqi Kurdistan.
Zarif, for his part, called on KRG officials to facilitate the presence of Iranian companies and settle the problems they face in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The two officials further explored avenues for closer cooperation between Tehran and Erbil, particularly in economic fields.
Last month, Nechirvan Barzani visited Iran atthe head of a high-ranking delegation. In a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Kurdish premier praised Tehran for its assistance to Iraq in the war against terrorism, pledging that Erbil will never allow the Kurdish region’s territory to be used for posing threats to Iran.
The government of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq held an independence referendum in September 2017 amid rising tensions and international opposition.
The referendum set off a chain of events, culminating in a military confrontation between Erbil and Baghdad.
The Iraqi government forces launched a major operation in Kirkuk on October 16 and took control of its oil fields and a strategic military base without any armed clashes.
Analysts believe that the decision to hold the referendum in the face of near-universal condemnation was a colossal miscalculation, saying the former president of the KRG, Masoud Barzani, undermined his legitimacy by making such a move.
In October, the KRG announced it was prepared to freeze the results of the referendum.