Iraqi gov’t announces historic agreement with Kurdish region over disputed Sinjar

BAGHDAD, Oct 10 (Xinhua) The Iraqi government has struck a historic agreement with the government of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan over the status of the predominantly Yazidi city of Sinjar in the northern province of Nineveh, according to a government statement issued on Friday. The agreement to restore stability and normalize the situation in Sinjar came during a meeting held by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi with officials from the federal government and officials from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said a statement by Prime Minister’s office. In the presence of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the meeting addressed administrative and security issues of Sinjar, which would help the return of the displaced people to the city, some 100 km west of Nineveh’s provincial capital Mosul, the statement added.

“The agreement would be the beginning of solving the problems of all ethnically and religiously mixed areas in Iraq,” it noted.

The Iraqi government also pledged to make every effort to search for hundreds of Yazidis who were kidnapped previously by the Islamic State (IS) militants, according to the statement. It highlighted the importance of Sinjar being “free of armed groups, both local and foreign,” noting the security in western Nineveh is the duty of the federal government. For her part, Hennis-Plasschaert described the agreement in a statement as “a first and important step in the right direction that would pave the way for a better future.” She expressed hopes that the agreement would usher in “a new chapter for Sinjar, which would help displaced people return to their homes, accelerate reconstruction and improve public service delivery. “The city of Sinjar and its surrounding areas have been in chaos as several other parties, such as the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and some Kurdish militant groups, are struggling against forces affiliated with the federal government over the control of the area.


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