Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday urged Kurdish peshmerga forces to continue working with Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamic State, while also reiterating his rejection of Kurdish independence.
Speaking during a visit to Paris, Abadi said his government does not want armed confrontation with the Kurds, but that “federal authority must prevail.”
Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted in favor of a non-binding independence referendum last month. Leaders said they hoped that would serve as the beginning of negotiations, but the government in Baghdad strongly rejected the vote.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday his government is prepared to help mediate the situation.
The Kurds and the Iraqi government have long-running disputes over oil revenues and who controls several key cities in the northern part of the country.