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‘Confederal’ System Alternative to Kurdistan’s Referendum | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi Kurds demonstrate at Irbil’s airport after the central government ordered the indefinite halt to all foreign flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan. AFP file

Baghdad, Irbil- The option of a “confederal” state reemerged on Sunday as an alternative to the Kurdistan Region’s plans to gain independence from Iraq, informed Kurdish sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Abdullah Warti, a member of the Kurdistan Supreme Political Council, said that the confederal choice was proposed by a third intermediary, represented by neighboring countries and other international states, and was adopted by some sides in the government and some Iraqi politicians.

“However, the proposal has not yet became official,” Warti said, adding that confederalism is currently considered as the best solution for the political situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

From his part, Fadel Mirani, secretary-general of the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani, said on Sunday that “the choice of confederalism is good.”

He added: “If Baghdad recognizes the Kurdish state, then it would be possible to discuss the choice of confederalism.”

The development came as several parliamentary bloc leaders in Iraq are working to limit the tension between Baghdad and Irbil.

In this regard, Barzani held talks in Irbil on Sunday with Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Jabori, the first meeting between the two sides since Kurdistan’s independence referendum last Sept. 25.

Following the meeting, Jabori’s office issued a statement saying his visit aims to help rebuild the strained relations between Irbil and Baghdad that have reached a dangerous level where “regional countries have begun to interfere as parties in the crisis, threatening the security and stability of Iraq as a state.”

Meanwhile, the office of former Iraqi Speaker and Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi announced on Sunday launching a new political initiative to “defuse the crisis” with an aim to reach national solutions based on dialogue and the unity of Iraq.