PM Barzani: We hope that past mistakes that brought Iraq to this point won’t repeat
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday spoke to members of the press regarding security issues, response to the humanitarian crisis, the government formation process in Baghdad, and other matters following a meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament Yousif Mohammed.
The Prime Minister met with the Speaker of the Parliament to share a report about the displaced families from Sinjar and Christian villages, to discuss ongoing negotiations with Baghdad, and to review the current military situation. He said that he will continue to discuss matters related to Peshmerga forces and martyrs affairs with the Speaker.
Prime Minister Barzani told members of the press that the KRG had a bitter experience dealing with former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, and said that he hoped past mistakes that led to the current crisis would not be repeated in the next cabinet. He indicated that a negotiating team from the Kurdistan Alliance has been established and that they have engaged in detailed preparatory meetings prior to visiting Baghdad.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the delegation will push for a quick formation of the government, but the Kurdistan Region has its requests. He noted that these points are clear, including implementation of constitutional Article 140, allocation of a budget for Peshmerga forces, federal budget distribution in general, and matters regarding natural resources. It was decided that the negotiating team would discuss these issues with Baghdad, with the understanding that they cannot be implemented in two weeks. All political parties of the team agreed on a deadline for the requests.
Prime Minister Barzani lauded the military and humanitarian assistance provided by the international community. “We are grateful to the countries supporting the Kurdistan Region in its fight against the terrorists,” he said, adding, “The issue of terror does not only concern the Kurdistan Regional Government. Rather, combating terror requires an international coalition, and we believe the international community has thus far taken necessary steps.”
The Prime Minister explained that actions taken have been supported by the United States and European countries militarily. This support began only recently, but nonetheless the KRG is grateful to all countries that have taken measures to support the Kurdistan Region. He noted that Kurdistan is at the forefront of the world’s fight against terrorism, and again un- derscored the need for regional and international coordination.
Answering questions about the displaced families and provision of humanitarian aid, Prime Minister Barzani said that the KRG is under tremendous pressure and sadly the KRG’s budget remains withheld by Baghdad. This has added to the burden on the Kurdistan Region in providing aid to the displaced.
Regarding Article 140, the Prime Minister pointed to the importance of adhering to the Constitution and its articles, stating that Article 140 paves the way for a solution. He added that the KRG wishes to resolve disputes legally, as per the Constitu- tion, even if all such areas are under KRG control. At the same time, he said, “there are no guarantees” or assurances to settle all the issues based on past experiences with the Maliki administration, noting that Baghdad still has not released salaries for civil servants working in the Kurdistan Region.
Kurdistan Regoin Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani talks to the press regarding the current security issues in the Region, Erbil, Tuesday, August 26, 2014.