Erbil, Baghdad agree on dialogue, lifting sanctions
Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani met with Iraqi Vice Presidents Ayad Allawi and Osama al-Nujaifi in Sulaimaniyah on Saturday.
According to a statement from Barzani's office, the three leaders agreed on starting dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to "calm tense atmosphere" after former's illegitimate referendum in September.
On Sept. 25, Iraqis in Kurdish Regional Government-held areas -- and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil -- voted on whether to declare independence from Iraq.
The trio also agreed on carrying out talks with an open agenda, immediate lifting of sanctions on Erbil and launching meetings between Erbil and Baghdad as soon as possible, said the statement.
According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence.
The illegitimate referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, many warning that it would distract from Iraq's ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the already-volatile region.