President Barzani invites Baghdad to assume a "primary role" in protecting Kurdistan

President Barzani invites Baghdad to assume a "primary role" in protecting Kurdistan

Shafaq News/ Nechirvan Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on Wednesday called for "putting an end to the actions of armed factions", inviting the Iraqi government to play a "primary role in protecting the [Kurdistan] region."

In an interview with al-Arabiya and al-Hadath TV, Barzani expressed concern about Baghdad's ability to protect the Kurdistan region, saying that "the current challenges are more difficult than the Daesh era, and the front line is no longer clear."

The president commended the stance of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani and called on the federal government to "assume a primary role in protecting the region."

Barzani said that the Kurdistan region would decide on the presence of coalition forces "within the framework of Iraq and not alone."

The president refuted allegations about the nature of the Kurdistan region's relations with Israel and said "We do not have any ties with Israel or there are no Mossad bases [in the region]."

Barzani dismissed Iran's allegations of Mossad presence in Iraq's Kurdistan, stressing that Tehran "has not presented any evidence to Baghdad of Mossad forces in the region."

"The region is not a source of threat to Iran," he said. "The Iranian shelling that killed civilians cannot be classified as friendship."

Both Iran and Iraqi armed factions have repeatedly targeted locations in the KRI with airstrikes and rocket attacks, claiming they are linked to the Mossad.

On relations with Ankara, Barzani said, "We categorically reject the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) using our territory against Turkey."

He acknowledged that the PKK "is a source of threat to our neighbors and a major headache for us and Baghdad."

Regarding relations with Baghdad, Barzani pointed out that "the federal system in Iraq has not been implemented even though 20 years have passed."

He said that Kurdistan "has dealt with Baghdad with full transparency in the file of revenues," despite the "difficult and complex" economic situation in the region.

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon