PM Ma­liki in Er­bil to ame­lio­rate the Er­bil-Bagh­dad ten­sions

Pres­i­dent Barzani de­scribed Iraq Pre­mier’s visit as “sig­nif­i­cant visit” and said it is a “start to re­move all the out­stand­ing dis­putes”.

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Fol­low­ing a mu­tual meet­ing be­hind closed doors in an at­tempt to ease the Er­bil-Bagh­dad pend­ing dis­putes over oil and land, Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani and Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nuri al-Ma­liki launched a press con­fer­ence in Er­bil, on Sun­day June 9. The Shi'ite Pre­mier Ma­liki was met on the Er­bil air­port tar­mac by Pres­i­dent Barzani and a del­e­ga­tion of high-rank­ing Kur­dish of­fi­cials.

Re­gard­ing Ma­liki’s visit and hold­ing a min­is­te­rial ses­sion in Er­bil, Pres­i­dent Barzani stated that, “This visit is a be­gin­ning to re­solve all the long-run­ning dis­putes.”

Barzani added that he will visit the Iraqi cap­i­tal Bagh­dad, how­ever, he pre­vi­ously stated sev­eral times that he won’t visit Bagh­dad.

In a ques­tion about acti- vat­ing the seven com­mit­tees which were as­signed, due to Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) PM Nechir­van Barzani’s visit to Bagh­dad, Pres­i­dent Barzani stated that: “We agreed to ac­ti­vate the seven com­mit­tees which are as­signed to re­solve the prob­lems be­tween the Iraqi gov­ern­ment and KRG.” He added that the dis­putes should be re­solved by the con­sti­tu­tion.

In ad­di­tion, PM Ma­liki said that: “In our meet­ings with the Kur­dish of­fi­cials, we dis­cussed Iraq’s cur­rent sit­u­a­tion aim­ing to ease the ten­sions.”

In a ques­tion re­gard­ing turn­ing Hal­abja a prov­ince, PM Ma­liki said that he wel­comes turn­ing Hal­abja a prov­ince, adding that “the idea is good”.

Ma­liki also added that the Iraqi gov­ern­ment is ready to hold the na­tion­wide cen­sus in the dis­puted ar­eas, which had been de­layed sev­eral times un­der dif­fer­ent pre­texts.

Prime Min­is­ter Ma­liki’s visit was cov­ered by lots of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional news agen­cies. Some po­lit­i­cal ex­perts be­lieve that Ma­liki is now in a cross­roads. He faces a fall­out from the Syr­ian con­flict which re­vived the ex­trem­ist Sunni in­sur­gents in Iraq and pro­moted an un­wanted civil war, so bet­ter re­la­tions with the Kurds will cause to ease the pres­sure on PM Ma­liki ul­ti­mately.

Ma­liki’s last visit to Kur­dis­tan Re­gion was in 2010, at the time when the “Er­bil Agree­ment” was struck. His visit ended in form­ing a power-shar­ing gov­ern­ment among ma­jor­ity Shi­ite, Sun­nis and the Kurds who al­ready en­joy run­ning an au­ton­o­mous re­gion since the Kur­dish up­ris­ing against the for­mer Iraqi regime in 1991.

Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani shakes hand with Iraq's Prime Min­is­ter Nuri al-Ma­liki dur­ing his visit to the cap­i­tal Er­bil on Sun­day June 9.

Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani speaks as Iraq's Prime Min­is­ter Nuri al-Ma­liki stands next to him dur­ing a press con­fer­ence held in Er­bil, cap­i­tal of the au­ton­o­mous Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, on Sun­day June 9.

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