“Kurds can build an in­de­pen­dent state in their three prov­inces”

Head of Shi­ite State of Law talks to

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

lead­ers about pos­si­bil­ity of with­drawal. We don’t be­lieve that they would, since this is no more than pro­pa­ganda and a means to put pres­sure on the oth­ers.

Ten­sions be­tween the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and the cen­tral government have never reached their cur­rent level since the fall of the Baathist Regime. What is the rea­son and how could this be solved?

Globe:

The is­sue is that Kur­dis­tan wants to act as a state with no con­nec­tion, con­trol and mon­i­tor­ing from Bagh­dad. Let’s start from the most re­cent is­sue be­tween two sides. If Kur­dis­tan Re­gion wants to solve the is­sues it should first with­draw its forces from Kirkuk and the dis­puted ar­eas and there should not be any Pesh­merga forces in­side the cities; then the ne­go­ti­a­tions could be fruit­ful.

But the ten­sions started af­ter the for­ma­tion of the Di­jla Op­er­a­tions Com­mand in th­ese ar­eas, which both the Kurds and the Turk­mens la­beled as “un­nec­es­sary”. Wasn’t the for­ma­tion of this com­mand a mis­take?

Globe:

No, the for­ma­tion of Di­jla Op­er­a­tions Com­mand was a right de­ci­sion in the right time. This is a con­sti­tu­tional force es­tab­lished due to the wide­spread ex­is­tence of ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions, and es­pe­cially al-Qaida, in th­ese ar­eas. The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Iraq who is the Prime Min­ster of the Coun­try has the right to form armed forces where nec­es­sary. And this force was nec­es­sary in Kirkuk. Kurds should not have been so con­cerned about this.

Globe:

But th­ese ar­eas are still to be man­aged on a mu­tual ba­sis and Ar­ti­cle 140 is still not im­ple­mented.

It is true that th­ese are dis­puted ar­eas and are mu­tu­ally man­aged, but al-Qaida threats are a lot in this area. Ad­di­tion­ally, this is­sue should def­i­nitely be solved and we are com­mit­ted to im­ple­ment­ing all phases of Ar­ti­cle 140. What has been done now is to im­ple­ment the phases one by one. A cen­sus should be con­ducted later and the sit­u­a­tions should be nor­mal­ized but it seems that Kurds do not want this ar­ti­cle to be im­ple­mented.

Globe:

It is ar­gued that the ac­tions of Ma­liki are ma­jor fac­tors why the Kurds talk about an­nounc­ing their own in­de­pen­dent state more than ever. What would be your re­ac­tion in such a case?

We are not for the sep­a­ra­tion of Iraq and do not like any kind of di­vi­sion in Iraq, but in the end the de­ci­sion is with Kur­dis­tan’s na­tion and it is a Kur­dis­tani de­ci­sion. If Kurds want to sep­a­rate it is their rights and the United Na­tions has made this de­ci­sion. How­ever, this should be on the blue line. I mean we do not have any reser­va­tions or prob­lem with the es­tab­lish­ment of a Kur­dish state if it is only in the three cur­rent prov­inces, i.e. in­side the bor­ders be­fore the fall of the Baathist Regime. But if they want to in­clude the dis­puted ar­eas as well, we will pre­vent that and th­ese ar­eas should in no way be part of such a state. This is due to the fact that th­ese ar­eas are shared among all the eth­nic­i­ties, and if Kurds in­sist on in­clud­ing th­ese ar­eas to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, then a war would erupt be­tween the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and Iraq.

Iraq’s Vice Pres­i­dent Tariq al-Hashemi se­verely at­tacked Ma­liki in his most re­cent state­ment, and ar­gues that he is the fac­tor be­hind the war be­tween Sun­nis and Shi­ites and the con­flicts be­tween the Kurds and Arabs. What is your re­sponse?

Globe:

Tariq alHashemi is a crim­i­nal and the Iraqi courts have con­victed him with the death penalty, hence his state­ments are worth­less and are not con­sid­ered valid. He is a mur­derer.

Kur­dish Pesh­merga troops are de­ployed on the out­skirts of Kirkuk, some 250km (155 miles) north of Bagh­dad, Novem­ber 24, 2012. Iraq's Kur­dish re­gion has sent re­in­force­ments to a dis­puted area where its troops are in­volved in a stand­off with the Iraqi army, a se­nior Kur­dish mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said, de­spite calls on both sides for di­a­logue to calm the sit­u­a­tion. Pic­ture taken Novem­ber 24, 2012.

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