UNAMI urges de-escalation and Baghdad-Erbil negotiations on the basis of the constitution [EN/AR/KU]

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Baghdad, 24 October 2017 - On the occasion of UN Day, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, said the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter comes at a changing time for Iraq.

The terrorist Daesh organization is largely defeated although it remains a potent enemy and fighting it continues to be a priority. This is allowing many of the millions who have been displaced by this conflict to return home to rebuild their lives. This is also a chance to revisit and reform the functioning of the political system in a way that will open for all the components and minorities, for all Iraqis in the post-Daesh Iraq new perspectives as equal citizens with equal rights and opportunities, thus putting an end to the recurrent cycles of violence and terrorism.

But just as Iraq was breathing a sigh of relief with the defeat of Daesh, the country was hit recently by another crisis, this time between Baghdad and Erbil.

Mr. Kubiš said: “The post-Daesh period has brought to the fore many serious problems that accumulated over the years and remain unresolved. That concerns among others, critical issues of Baghdad-Erbil relations, including deficiencies in the implementation of the Iraqi Constitution. Challenged by the unilaterally declared independence referendum Baghdad has taken steps to re-assert the constitutional order, re-establish the federal authority. All that culminated in the recent developments that have so sadly triggered confrontation between the erstwhile partners of the joint battle first against a dictatorship and lately against the terrorist Daesh, which added another layer of insecurity, fragmentation and difficulties, bringing about new waves of displacements, this time mostly of Kurds.”

He added that the United Nations is closely monitoring the situation, while it provides humanitarian assistance to those displaced recently and raises the issues of violations of human rights as warranted, always guided by the principle of impartiality and with the interests of the people of Iraq, including in Kurdistan Region, at heart.

The SRSG expressed confidence that despite the recent tensions, Iraq will be able to ride this crisis, and offered the good offices of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to facilitate discussions if asked by both sides.

“A solution lies primarily in stopping military activities and in de-escalation, including ending public inflammatory statements and confrontational actions, in continuous coordination on the military and security situation in disputed areas, where appropriate, in respecting the integrity of the Green Line of 2003 and notably in an urgent start of a partnership dialogue and negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil on the basis of the Constitution. This is critically important for preserving the unity and re-establishing stability of the country and peaceful coexistence amongst all components and minorities based on equal rights and justice for all citizens of Iraq in the condition of good and democratic governance.”

Mr. Kubiš added: “Both sides publicly expressed their willingness to engage in dialogue and negotiations on the basis of the Constitution. The UN is ready to assist, if requested, as it assists already in dealing with the humanitarian consequences and human rights violations that are tragically occurring as well, in Tuz Khormatu, Kirkuk and some other places.”

“We are confident that the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, just like they banded together to defeat Daesh, can work hand in hand to overcome their differences through dialogue and away from confrontation to resolve all outstanding issues in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution.”

For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email:
or the UNAMI Public Information Office: