Iraq – Reopening of airports under the authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government to international flights (13 March 2018)

France applauds the announcement by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that airports under the authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government will be open to international flights following an agreement between the Kurdish Regional Authorities and the Iraqi Federal Government on their management.

This decision, as well as the agreement on the direct payment of salaries for certain civil servants by federal authorities, represent an encouraging step toward the resolution of other disputes falling within the Iraqi constitutional framework and involving respect for Kurdish autonomy, in a way that benefits local populations. We hope this dialogue will continue in a constructive way toward the full normalization of relations between Baghdad and Erbil.

In recent months, France has actively supported discussions between Iraqi federal authorities and representatives of the Kurdish Autonomous Region, in conjunction with the UN and its partners. On October 5 of last year, President Macron hosted Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. At the President’s request, Jean-Yves Le Drian subsequently traveled to Iraq, on February 12, where he met with the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani. On that occasion, Mr. Le Drian encouraged them to return to the path of a united Iraq, respectful of its diversity.

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