Arbil offers joint administration of borders with Baghdad as Iran re-opens borders
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq has rejected handing over the border management to the Iraqi federal administration, saying that the law instead provides for joint administration, as Iran re-opened its crossings with the semi-autonomous region.
“Instructions and laws emphasize on joint administration and oversight on border crossings, and the region is prepared to discuss matters related to airports and border crossings,”Safeen Dizayee, a spokesperson of the KRG, told Iraqi website Alghad Press.
“There is no phrase in the law or the instructions that provide for handing over crossings and airports, but instead for a joint administration”, Dizayee said, adding that “Kurdistan Region was, from the beginning, for resolving the problem through dialogue, and certainly technical issues require dialogue more than anything else.”
Iran re-opened two crossings with the KRG on Jan. 2 that it had closed after a referendum in favor of independence for the semi-autonomous region, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported.
After the referendum in September 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered troops to take control of areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurdish government.
Abadi wants to take control of the border crossings between the Kurdish region and Iran, Turkey and Syria, including one through which an oil export pipeline crosses into Turkey.
Iran, at the request of Baghdad, closed its borders with the Kurdish region in northern Iraq and halted all flights there and back.
“Tamarchin and Parviz Khan border crossings with Erbil and Sulaymaniyah that have been closed off by the formal request of Iraqi government, were opened on Thursday,” ISNA quoted the consulate of the Islamic Republic in Erbil as saying.
Earlier on Jan. 2, Ihsan al-Shamri, an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi, said the government adopted a number of decisions towards dialogue with Erbil, which involve “[Baghdad’s] taking over of Kurdistan’s border crossings with Iran and Turkey, and forming a high committee to regulate land ports, customs and airports.”