The Iraqi government has struck a historic agreement with the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan over the status of the disputed Yazidi city of Sinjar in Nineveh province.
The agreement to restore stability and normalize the situation in Sinjar came during a meeting on Friday between Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and officials from the federal government and officials from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Xinhua news agency quoted an official statement as saying.
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 former Caliphate of the Islamic State (IS) terror group.
"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 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.
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 witnessed 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 to control of the area.