U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a press conference after talks with Chinese diplomatic and defense chiefs at the State Department in Washington, U.S. June 21, 2017. REUTERS
BAGHDAD - 4 November 2017: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stressed the need for political negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad to solve the problems between the two administrations.
In a phone call with Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, the US secretary of state expressed his country's concerns over the tensions between the two sides and reemphasized its support for the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, Radio Sawa reported on Saturday.
Tillerson also expressed hope that both sides engage in dialogue and negotiations to address outstanding issues.
The Kurdish prime minister called on the international community and the US, in particular, to encourage Baghdad to engage in peaceful dialogue and refrain from utilizing military force.
The Kurdistan Region rejects war and violence and believes that armed conflict is in no one’s interest, Barzani said, adding the Kurdistan Region calls for a peaceful solution on the basis of the Iraqi Constitution.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated following the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum, which the central government considered as unconstitutional and illegal.
The Kurdistan Region has offered to freeze the outcome of its vote on independence in return for open dialogue with Baghdad in light of the Iraqi constitution, a move welcomed by Washington, but rejected by Baghdad who wants the vote cancelled.