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Published: Tue, October 03, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Iraqi Kurdistan sets up supreme political council for talks with Baghdad

Iraqi Kurdistan sets up supreme political council for talks with Baghdad

He said he heard they plan to set up a customs point some 15 meters (16 yards) away on the Turkish side and traffic is expected to continue to be allowed to pass the crossing normally. Ankara has threatened a series of measures including blocking crucial oil exports from the region via Turkey.

Following the vote, Iraq, Iran and Turkey - which all have sizable Kurdish minorities - took measures to isolate Iraqi Kurdistan, including suspending global flights to and from its two main airports. Today, Iraqi Kurdistan's transport ministry sent a letter to Baghdad asking to "open negotiations" on flights but was still awaiting a reply, a ministry spokesman said.

Iran and Turkey also believe that Iraq's territorial integrity must be preserved, he added.

Iraqi authorities say they will still allow domestic flights operated by Iraqi Airways and aid flights, Jane reports, and the change is "not expected to affect US and other military flights operating out of the military side of the Irbil airport".

A diplomatic drive to forestall the referendum failed to persuade Kurdish leaders, some of the United States' closest Middle Eastern allies, former U.S. officials and experts said.

In a statement, Iraqi Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji said all foreign nationals residing in territories controlled by the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) "can transit through Iraq to return to their home countries without obtaining prior visas or paying fines".

Last month, during his historic trip to Latin America, Netanyahu stated that Israel "supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own", but rejects the PKK's acts of terrorism committed in the name of Kurdish statehood.

The central government in Baghdad had ordered the halt to all foreign flights to and from the autonomous Kurdish region from 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Friday. Foreigners scrambled to leave regional capital Erbil and second largest city Sulaimaniyah before the ban took effect.

Hadithi demanded that Irbil "cancel the results of the referendum" and "engage in serious dialogue to strengthen the unity of Iraq".

He said Pakistan reaffirm full support for the Government and people of Iraq.

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