Iraqi Kurdish authorities have offered to put their independence drive on hold, ramping up efforts to resolve a crisis in relations with Baghdad via dialogue rather than military means.
The news came on Tuesday night, when the Kurdistan Regional government called for an immediate ceasefire and a cessation to all military operations in the northern region.
It also proposed open dialogue with the Iraqi central government based on the country’s constitution.
It came after the Kurdish parliament announced that legislative and presidential elections that were delayed because of the ongoing political stand-off with Baghdad would be held in eight months.
Meanwhile, an Iraqi military spokesman suggested an offensive to recapture Kurdish-held territory would continue regardless.
“The fighting between the two sides will not produce a victory for any, it will take the country to total destruction,” said the Kurdistan Regional Government in a statement.
The development follows weeks of tensions between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional government over the September 25 independence vote, which was held in open defiance of the central government in Baghdad.
Iraq’s neighboring countries including Iran and Turkey opposed the vote, warning that it would further complicate the security situation in the Arab country that has been fighting with terrorism for the past three years.