President of Iraq Fuad Masum is visiting the Kurdistan Region to try to rebuild relations between Erbil and Baghdad and within his own political party.
A statement on the presidency website said Masum’s visit is to strengthen efforts to rebuild trust and understanding between the federal and regional governments.
Relations between Erbil and Baghdad are severely strained after Kurdistan’s vote for independence – each party has accused the other of violating the constitution and their forces have clashed as the central government extended its control over the disputed areas.
The two sides are currently at a stalemate and under global pressure to begin political talks parallel to ongoing security talks that have maintained a ceasefire. Erbil has said it is ready to talk, but Baghdad has repeatedly demanded the regional government meet pre-conditions.