Barzani blames centralization for issues

Kurdistan president insists on ‘frank discussions’ with Baghdad

October 11 — Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani emphasized on Tuesday that problem-solving between Erbil and Baghdad should occur in the Iraqi capital, while acknowledging the importance of the region’s relationship with Iran.

Barzani spoke during a live interview with journalist Hiwa Osman at the MERI Forum 2023 in response to a question regarding whether the Kurdistan region would seek Iran’s assistance in pressuring Baghdad to resolve on-going issues.

“Iran is a neighboring country, yes, we visit it, but, as we have emphasized, we are not strangers [jn Iraq], but homeowners. That is why we sit with our brothers in Baghdad to resolve issues at one table and engage in frank discussions,” Barzani said.

The President attributed current issues between Baghdad and Erbil to “excessive centralization” despite Iraq being a federal state.

“To put it more clearly, if we want stability, our brothers in Baghdad must express their positions openly on these matters. We need a strong will to sit at one table,” he said.

Barzani added, “We need to sit and talk without flattery to understand where we have violated the federal system and where Baghdad has violated it, so that we can agree to rectify any violations.”