Bafel Talabani, the Co-President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), held a series of important meetings within the framework of his visit to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, which lasted for 4 days.
The visit began with meeting the Iraqi President at Peace Palace in Baghdad and later on, the Co-President met with top Iraqi leaders and officials, as well as foreign diplomatic figures in Baghdad.
The visit aimed to discuss more security and political stability and the solution of outstanding issues between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region within the framework of the constitution and steps to implement the obligations that fall on both Baghdad and Erbil in the general Iraqi budget law for 2021, securing the financial dues to the Kurdistan Region, and the salaries of the region’s employees, stressing the need to continue dialogue in order to solve financial differences fundamentally and secure living requirements and people’s salaries.
They also emphasized solidarity and coordination between the institutions of the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to reach an appropriate solution that takes into account the public interest of the country.
The senior delegation of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) will meet all of the Iraqi officials and parties and in one voice and one stance with other Iraqi political parties will seek for a better and stronger for now and the future, said Alla Talabani, head of the PUK bloc in the Iraqi Parliament in a statement.
"As the PUK, our relations are continuing with the Iraqi political parties and today we discussed early elections, security and political situation in the region," she added.
Meeting the three Presidencies of Iraq
Iraqi President, PUK Co-President stress need to resolve problems in-accordance to constitution
The PUK Co-President discussed with Iraqi President recent political developments were discussed during the meeting, and President Salih and Mr. Bafel Talabani agreed on the need that solutions to unresolved issues between the Federal Government and the KRG should all be found according to the Iraqi constitution and legal frameworks, thereby ensuring social justice, and guaranteeing all employees and citizens' rights. Providing decent living conditions for all the Iraqi must be given priority, they said.
During the meeting, Conversations placed emphasis on the need to have further cooperation and coordination between the institutions of the Federal Government and the KRG to pursue common vision, so as to serve the country's interest, promote security and stability as well as meeting people's demands to live a life of dignity and freedom.
KRG financial dues, employee salaries not to be linked to political differences
Bafel Talabani, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, where he was emphasized to abide by the constitutional foundations to solve all outstanding problems between Baghdad and Erbil, overcome political, economic and security challenges and find an appropriate mechanism to send financial dues to Kurdistan Region under the provisions of the budget law to provide and guarantee the salaries of the employees of the Region.
Bafel Talabani also stressed the strengthening of relations and cooperation between federal government institutions and Kurdistan Region to implement the government program in order to provide better services to citizens and bring about radical reforms in state administration.
Talabani also asked the Iraqi PM for the financial due of Kurdistan Region and employee salaries not to be linked to political differences and that the recent agreement between Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi government should be a reference for solving all problems.
During the meeting, Talabani also stressed the importance of consensus between Iraqi political forces and parties in order to provide a decent life and well-being for the people of Kurdistan and Iraq, who have suffered greatly as a result of successive crises, and pointed out that joint pursuit of this goal is a task for all national forces.
Conducting a national dialogue between all forces
Bafel Talabani, the Co-President of the PUK, also met with Muhammad al-Halbousi, Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, where they exchanged opinions and views on political developments, the issue of the work of the parliament, legislation of laws, monitoring of authorities, protection of public and national rights and components through the legitimacy of the parliament, understandings and resorting to the language of dialogue were emphasized to confront problems and find solutions to them.
On the current problems between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and the deepening of differences, Bafel Talabani suggested conducting a national dialogue between all forces to reach an agreement and common understanding, declaring the need not to deal with each other according to the principle of majority and minority, and use that as a measure for passing laws, because it complicates the situation further. We must all believe in reformulating a new policy to administer Iraq, and that the constitution will be the basis for relations, and that no nationalism or component should be neglected.
Another aspect of the meeting emphasized preparing a suitable ground for holding fair and transparent elections, and providing election security in a way that preserves the rights of all.
Meeting heads of diplomatic missions in Iraq
The PUK supports free and fair elections
The Co-President of the PUK met in Baghdad with Matthew H. Tueller, the United States ambassador to Iraq.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on the political, security and economic developments, and the relations between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, stressing a peaceful solution to the outstanding problems.
With regard to relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, and the mechanism for implementing the budget law and bilateral agreements, the delegation of the PUK stressed the continuation of constructive discussions in order to solve the problem of the Kurdistan Region’s budget radically.
The delegation announced that the PUK supports the endeavors aimed at the success of the peace and harmony process, stressing on rebuilding confidence and national dialogue, and managing the country with the participation of all, and that we be true partners in the success of our experience.
The delegation of the PUK indicated that the Union played a positive role to solve the problems between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad by peaceful means, affirming that PUK is following its path in order to reach national unity, especially in Baghdad, and emphasized working as a team in order to keep the Kurdistan Region’s position strong.
Also in the meeting, Bafel Talabani spoke about the early elections of the Iraqi parliament and declared that the PUK supports free and fair elections on its scheduled date.
On the other hand, the US ambassador affirmed support for the efforts of the PUK and the continuation of cooperation and coordination with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Expanding bilateral relations with Russia
Diplomatic missions and embassies were another important stop for the visit of Bafel Talabani, the Co-President of the PUK, to the federal capital, Baghdad. Within this framework, Bafel Talabani received Elbrus Kutrashev, Russia's ambassador to Iraq.
During the meeting, the Co-President of the PUK, stressed the expansion of bilateral relations and joint coordination in various fields with Russia in order to serve the higher interests of the two countries, especially in the field of cooperation with Iraqi forces and the Kurdistan Region to confront terrorism, overcome security problems and end ISIS terrorist remnants.
The delegation of the PUK stressed the political and security stability through understanding and finding common ground and in a patriotic spirit to overcome the current situation, and stressed the positive role of the international community for the success of the political process in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Maintaining historical relations built by the late President Mam Jalal with China
Bafel Talabani discussed with Zhang Tao, the Chinese ambassador to Iraq, the political, economic and security conditions in the Kurdistan Region.
During the meeting, Bafel Talabani affirmed the PUK's determination to strengthen the ancient relations of the Kurdistan Region, especially the PUK with China in the political, economic, commercial and cultural fields, noting that the PUK desires to revive cooperation and joint coordination and to perpetuate the historical relations built by President Mam Jalal with the People's Republic of China, where he asked the Chinese side to support the development of the Kurdistan Region.
The delegation of the PUK pointed to the efforts to develop the region's infrastructure and that there are great opportunities for investment in the energy, agriculture, industry and trade sectors for Chinese investors to participate in the development of these sectors and expressed their willingness to facilitate their work.
The success of democracy in Iraq
In a meeting with Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Bafel Talabani reviewed the position and vision of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on all issues, stressing his support for coordination and understanding between the Kurdish forces and parties, noting that everyone should strive to preserve the entity of the region and to be real partners in the administration and decision-making process in crucial issues, stressing support for international endeavors, which aim to develop the experience of the Kurdistan Region.
With regard to the elections in Iraq, the Co-President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan emphasized free and fair elections and called on the United Nations to play an important and effective role in the process of monitoring the elections and making the democratic experiment successful in the country.
The two sides also discussed the principle of coexistence and acceptance of the other, and stressed the revival of the spirit of harmony among all peoples and components, and declared that everyone can participate in building a safe and stable country and work for the higher interests of the country.
Bafel Talabani: Constitution is a reference for resolving outstanding problems
The Co-President of the PUK, also received Iraj Masjedi, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq. In the meeting, political and security developments and early elections in Iraq, confronting the terrorist remnants of ISIS and the relations between Erbil and Baghdad were discussed.
Bafel Talabani emphasized the position of the PUK regarding all the developments, stressing that PUK supports constructive and national dialogue between the political parties in both Kurdistan region and Iraq. He stressed the restoration of confidence on the basis of the public and national interest, and that the constitution is a reference for resolving outstanding problems.
Adding to that, Bafel Talabani stressed the development and expansion of bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, taking into account the higher interests of both sides.
With regard to protecting the border areas and confronting the remnants of ISIS and the military coordination among them, the Co-President explained the strategy of facing risks, noting the importance of continued coordination to overcome security gaps and protect security and stability, and appreciated the Islamic Republic for its support in the war against ISIS and its effective role in providing security and stability in the region.
Meeting PUK Center in Baghdad
Solving the problems between Baghdad and Erbil
Bafel Talabani, the Co-President of the PUK, also visited the Baghdad Organizations Center of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, during which he highlighted the objectives of his visit to Baghdad and the importance of his meetings during the past days, and answered in detail the questions of the members of the Center.
On the position and strategy of the PUK, Bafel Talabani said: "the Patriotic Union works under the same spirit and national vision of the late President Mam Jalal, believing in joint action and welcoming any efforts to serve the higher interests of our people, and PUK legitimizes any force or party that wishes to work for the sake of Kurdistan and its people."
Talabani pointed out that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has an important position in Baghdad, saying that "the PUK's political and diplomatic activities are increasing because we believe, if we want to guarantee the rights of our people and solve problems according to the foundations of the constitution, we must activate the tasks and continue with our friends to protect the higher interests. Therefore, the Baghdad Organizations Center was assigned to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to proceed in a common policy with all the forces, nationalities and various components in Baghdad and to continue coordination to implement the demands of the people of Kurdistan."
In another aspect of the meeting, Talabani said, "the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan believes in dialogue and understanding," referring to the role of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in solving problems between Erbil and Baghdad.
"We must move forward in our historical relations that late President Mam Jalal found, and continue it in the same spirit with our friends, and the Patriotic Union will remain as it has always been a reference and a collector of differences. For the sake of our people, we will continue the national struggle, and we will not compromise in any way on the general and strategic lines, and this is a reason for the PUK's pride in all stages of the struggle," PUK's co-president said.his is a reason for the PUK's pride in all stages of the struggle.
Meeting Iraqi political figures
Solving problems radically
During the meeting of the Co-President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Baghdad with His Eminence Ammar al-Hakim, head of Iraq's National Wisdom Movement. They emphasized strengthening relations and solving political problems for the sake of peace and security in the region.
Bafel Talabani stressed the determination of the PUK to solve the outstanding problems fundamentally within the framework of the constitution, and stressed on building national consensus at the regional and Iraqi levels to face challenges, and said "that the time had come for all revolutionary forces to open a new page on the basis of trust and public interest and building 'Strong' relations and directing the country for the better, because the only way to pass the current situation, which is full of challenges and dangers, is through dialogue."
During the meeting, emphasis was placed on developing long-standing relations between them, joint work for the public interest, and a vision of better services for people and more stability in the region.
Building strong relations between the region and Baghdad
During his meeting with Nouri al-Maliki, head of Iraq's State of Law Coalition, Bafel Talabani stressed the determination of the PUK to solve the problems that hinder efforts to pass this circumstance, explaining that the PUK seeks a national consensus with the participation of all parties to solve the problems through a national dialogue that takes into account the public interest.
The Co-President of the PUK explained that building strong relations between Kurdistan Region and Baghdad is a key factor for the development of the Region and Iraq, stressing the need to revive the spirit of coexistence and end sectarian and national intolerance, and considered that it is necessary to build the project of national reconciliation, under the umbrella of the Constitution and not to mix the interests of the people and national issues with political conflicts.
Coordination between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces
During the PUK Co--President's meeting the head of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Faleh al-Fayyad, the political and security conditions in the region were evaluated, and the need for coordination and joint cooperation between the forces in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq was emphasized to confront the remnants of ISIS terrorist organization and to consolidate security and stability in the region.
Bafel Talabani pointed to the movements of the ISIS terrorists in the country, declaring that "ISIS still poses a serious threat, and we all have to cooperate and coordinate. Providing a safe and stable life for citizens is a national and patriotic duty on all of us. Therefore, the direct work of the joint operations room between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces is a factor in extending more security in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq."
"Dialogue and common understanding, security and military cooperation is an important pillar for political security... The protection of the lives and livelihoods of citizens must be at the forefront of the work of all forces and parties and that all efforts must be focused in this direction," said Bafel Talabani.
PUK promotes the language of dialogue and mutual understanding
Bafel Talabani, met with Khamis Al-Khanjar, the head of the Azm Alliance, and several prominent Sunni leaders.
They discussed political, economic, and security barriers and both sides emphasized strengthening bilateral relations between all parties, and nations to address and solve the problems permanently.
Bafel Talabani explained the PUK's resolution and strategy saying that" PUK believes in the language of dialogue and understanding and welcomes any effort to improve the spirit of cooperation and coexistence."
In the related context, the upcoming Iraqi elections were discussed where the PUK delegation expressed the PUK's stand, stressing that the PUK told all the parties that they support on-time elections. Also, they have mentioned the importance of a clear and transparent election under the supervision of the international community and far from any external interference.
The importance of joint action and the participation of Kurdish forces in Baghdad
Talabani also met with Dr. Fuad Masum, a member of the founding body of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the former president of Iraq. During the meeting, political, economic, and security developments were discussed, and an assessment was conducted to unify the efforts of the national unity and the unity of the Kurdish class internally, and to renew the PUK's keenness to reunite the Kurdish house in Baghdad.
They also discussed the importance of joint action and the participation of Kurdish forces in Baghdad in order to form a national front, protect and strengthen the entity of the Kurdistan Region and gain constitutional and legal rights.
The PUK believes in coexistence of all components
During a meeting held by Bafel Talabani the Chaldean Patriarch Cardinal Marlios Sako in Baghdad, Talabani stressed the importance of the role of Christians in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in consolidating co-existence. The Co-President also referred to the prominent role of Christians in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, who throughout history played an important role in consolidating harmony and deepening the foundations of co-existence in Kurdistan Region.
Bafel Talabani added, "we were, and still are, strongly supportive of the rights and demands of our Christian brothers in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as a solid component and an essential part of the nation."
For his part, Cardinal Sako recalled the nation's late President Mam Jalal's role to gather all the components and parties and cement the spirit of harmony and co-existence.
The country must be saved from conflicts
The Co-President of the PUK, met with Haider al-Abadi, head of the Victory Alliance and former Iraqi Prime Minister in Baghdad. The Co-President of the PUK reiterated the emphasis on solving the political problems between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and the Kurdish and Iraqi forces, in a political and peaceful manner, and explained that the Patriotic Union is keen on mutual understanding between the influential forces, stating that "we have a firm belief in consensus and dialogue on all issues and we can through dialogue and constitutional foundations agree and overcome differences and problems. The country must be saved from the situation of strife and conflicts, and we should not allow our people from now on to be a victim of political conflicts."
On the upcoming Iraqi elections, Bafel Talabani clarified the position of the Patriotic Union, saying: "The elections must be held on time in a fair and transparent manner, and that international observers have an important role in supervising the situation."
During the meeting, the Co-President frankly pointed to the serious risks and threats to the political process in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, and made it clear that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan stands in all forms against any attempt to destabilize the political, security, and economic stability of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, indicating that "our main concern is to move towards solving problems and rebuilding trust between forces, parties, and all nationalities and components."
"We will not compromise the rights of our people"
Bafel Talabani also met with Dr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the prominent Iraqi politician and former federal Prime Minister, where he expressed his appreciation for the positions of Iraqi leaders and political forces for their understanding of the rights of the Kurds and their participation in achieving the demands of the Kurds.
"The Renewed Patriotic Union continues the wise path of President Mam Jalal. The visions shared with the Iraqi forces on local, national, and important issues on the basis of dialogue and mutual understanding. We reject in all forms the policy of marginalization and rejection of dialogue. We may compromise partisanly for the rights of our people and the strengthening of the entity of the Kurdistan Region, but we will not compromise the rights and interests of our people and their land," Talabani said.
Bafel Talabani: PUK supports national dialogue to solve problems
The Co-President of the PUK also met with Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Iraqi Al-Fateh Alliance. During the meeting, which was attended by a number of ladies and gentlemen members of the Political Bureau and the Leadership Council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the political and security situations, the early elections of the Iraqi Parliament, the strengthening of bilateral relations and the expansion of coordination and joint cooperation were discussed, and views were exchanged on them.
Bafel Talabani reviewed the perspective of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on all outstanding issues and announced that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan supports the national dialogue to solve problems and with the formulation of a joint project in which everyone participates to deter threats facing the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Early elections were another focus of the meeting, in which the co-chairman stressed that they should take place on time, with an appropriate atmosphere away from any interference, and considered them an important factor for political stability in Iraq to form a capable government that represents different opinions and colors.
In another aspect of the meeting, the threats of ISIS terrorist remnants were discussed, stressing on more coordination between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi forces to eliminate terrorism and provide security and stability for the region.