New principles for Erbil-Baghdad talks: sharing, agreement, balance
Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minster Nechirvan Barzani stated in a press conference on May 1st following his Baghdad visit that Kurdish MPs and ministers will return back to Baghdad next week.
PM Barzani told the reporters that this is just the beginning and that change will not occur over night, adding that patience is needed from the public to see the fruits of the new agreement.
“This is a good start and the principle of dialogue has never been and will never be rejected by Kurdistan Region,” Barzani said in the press conference.
Nechirvan Barzani reiterated that President Massoud Barzani was the first person to feel the gravity of the situations in Iraq and one year ago he had stated that some people think the issue is a personal problem between President Barzani and PM Maliki, “but it did not turn out to be the case.”
Kurdish PM refuted the claim that Maliki called for Kurdish support with regard to the tensions in the Sunni areas and said “the history of Iraq is a strong proof for the failure of the principle of strong and weak.”
Barzani said that the result of the visit of the delegation he headed to Baghdad and meeting with PM Maliki and the State of Law Bloc was agreeing on a framework for future negotiations.
After briefing the reporters about the content of the seven-article agreement they signed with Maliki, PM Barzani expressed his satisfaction about the results of the visit. He expressed his appreciation of the role of all the political powers in Kurdistan Region and said, “It is true that we may have different opinions on this side of Mount Hamreen, but on the other side we are united and have one voice, which is the only guarantee we have as a nation.”
The Prime Minister stated that President Barzani met with all political groups and they collectively decided that the Kurdish parliamentarians and ministers should return to Baghdad to attend the meetings which will resume this week.
“I hope this is a good start for the negotiations we initiated and I hope the results will be in the benefit of the whole Iraq and Kurdistan Region.”
Kurdish PM also stated that he has invited PM Maliki to Kurdistan and suggested that a ministerial council session will be held in Erbil with the Presence of President Barzani and PM Maliki.
Toughing base on the issue of oil companies’ fees, Barzani said that this was not a major topic of this meeting but he promised that hopefully this issue will also be resolved with Baghdad, if that was not possible, they would have alternative solutions.
Addressing the issue of Article 140, PM Barzani emphasized that there was no pressure on them from Iran to resume talks with Baghdad, and “opposition is free in what they say and write, but we have agreed that Article 140 is a constitutional article and Kurdistan Region will try its best to implement it.”
Nechirvan Barzani touched the base on some other issues such as the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Kurdistan Region and reiterated that there are no plans to reschedule the elections. Moreover, Barzani also said that Peshmarga forces have been deployed to areas near Kirkuk to fill the security gap without disturbing anybody or any party and without any political agreements with anyone.
“Peshmargas are there to protect the security of Kurdistan Region, which is its first priority.”
Commenting on Dijla Operations Command, Barzani said if they operate within their limits there is no problem, but if they interfere in other issues that are originally under the authority of the governorates and provincial councils, such acts are not acceptable and would constitute as provocation.
Later on, PM Barzani addressed some internal issues such as the Human Capacity Development Program of the KRG, which, according to him, the program will continue but this will be in accordance with the Region’s needs rather than sending whoever has an offer from a foreign university. Additionally, he addressed some of the concerns people have had over the months regarding the performance of the government, and he confirmed that all measures are being taken to resolve these issues.
At the end of the press conference, the Kurdish PM expressed his government’s support for the rightful demands of the Sunni demonstrators in Southern Iraq and reiterated their readiness to provide any help necessary for the peaceful realizing of their rights and demands.
Kurdish Prime Minsiter Nechirvan Barzani meets with his Iraqi counterpart Nuri Maliki in Baghdad, Monday, April 29, 2013.