Iraqi Kurds Back Away From Independence Bid

Iraqi Kurdish people stand over the wreckage of a building destroyed in earthquake at Darbandikhan town near Sulaymaniya city northern Iraq on Nov. 13

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Kurdish regional government says "we respect" the November 6 decision by the Supreme Federal Court, an indication they may be willing to back down in the standoff with Baghdad.

"Irbil has realized that having dialogue with Baghdad is more crucial than anything". He added, however, that he is not quite sure if Irbil's attempt would get a positive response from Baghdad.

Following the Kurdish bid for independence, Baghdad halted global flights in and out of the autonomous region - known as Iraqi Kurdistan - and launched a military operation that recaptured the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas from Kurdish forces.

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The Baghdad government responded to the Kurdish independence referendum by swiftly seizing the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk and other territory disputed between the Kurds and the central government. Its decisions can not be appealed, though it has no mechanism to enforce its ruling in the Kurdish region. Baghdad ruled it illegal.

His statement that aimed at assuring Kurdistan's regional government, came after reports of intentions by the government to deal directly with provincial councils in terms of employee salaries, given that the federal authorities have suspicions over claims by Kurdistan on the employment of a huge number of civil servants (1,250,000) in the region.

Iraq also unleashed a legal barrage against Kurdish officials and sought to seize key Kurdish businesses, while neighbouring Turkey and Iran have threatened to close their borders with the autonomous region to oil exports.

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Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, seeking to up the pressure in a stand-off with Iraq's Kurdish region, said on Tuesday he would act soon over border areas under Kurdish control but predicted his government's forces would regain them without violence. "We will take action", Abadi said at a news conference.

They also focused on the return of displaced people and United Nations assistance to restore stability in areas recaptured from Daesh, the statement added.

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