05-12-2016 04:27 AM Jerusalem Timing

Iraq, Kurds Agree to Ease Crisis

Iraq, Kurds Agree to Ease Crisis

Top federal and Kurdish security officials agreed in Baghdad on Monday to "activate" coordinating committees between their forces and work to calm the situation in northern Iraq.

Iraq, Kurdistan mapTop federal and Kurdish security officials agreed in Baghdad on Monday to "activate" coordinating committees between their forces and work to calm the situation in northern Iraq, a statement said.

The two sides agreed to continue meeting "and to activate the higher coordinating committees between the (federal) armed forces and the (Kurdish) regional guard forces" known as peshmerga, a statement from military spokesman Colonel Dhia al-Wakil said, without providing details on the committees.

They also agreed to begin "calming the situation and searching for mechanisms to withdraw the units that were mobilized after the crisis to their former locations," the statement said.

The meeting was chaired by national security adviser Falah al-Fayadh and attended by Iraqi General Faruq al-Araji, US Lieutenant General Robert Caslen and delegations from the federal defense ministry and the Kurdistan ministry responsible for the peshmerga forces, the statement added.

Earlier on Monday, Kurdistan premier Nechirvan Barzani told a news conference that "Iraq's problems will not be addressed by force" and "will only be addressed by dialogue".

Barzani also said a high-level Kurdish delegation would travel to Baghdad on Tuesday for meetings, and expressed hope that Nuajifi's efforts would yield results.

Tensions are running high in parts of the country's north that the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate over the strong objections of Baghdad, and military reinforcements have been sent to disputed areas.

Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi has been pushing to resolve the crisis between Baghdad and Kurdistan, which he has warned could lead to civil war.