August 16, 2012

Iraqi Kurdistan: Denial from Baghdad over Office Closure

An alleged move by the Iraqi government to close the representative office of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Baghdad has been denied by legal experts, who warned that such claims will only serve to worsen fragile relations between Erbil and Baghdad.

Below is an article published by AKnews:

Legal expert Tareq al-Harb said that Baghdad government did not decide to close down the representative office of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Baghdad but decided to empty the office in the general secretariat of Council of Ministers.

Yesterday [15 August 2012] AKnews reported that Baghdad government closed down the KRG office in the general secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, claiming that the office is "illegal" and Baghdad and KRG can talk directly not through a representative office.

Harb explained: "The decision is not related to shutting down the Kurdistan Region's representation office but to vacate the building in the general secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers. The Kurdistan Region can open its representation in any area in Baghdad.

"The federal government does not object to opening a representation office of the Kurdistan Region in any area in Baghdad, both in the Green Zone or the former place of the office at the Rashid Hotel or in any other area in Baghdad."

Harb warned: “Inaccurate media reports deteriorate the situation between Baghdad and Erbil further."

KRG representative to Baghdad Mohammed Ehsan refuted the claim, saying the office was founded on a legal basis.

The KRG’s representation office was opened in 2006.