Iraq opposes US congress proposal to arm Kurds
Iraqi government has strongly opposed a bill proposed by the US Congress that allows the Iraqi Kurds to be armed directly, bypassing Iraq's central government, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said in a press release.
In March 2015, the US Congress introduced legislation to sidestep the bureaucratic delays in Baghdad that have led to delays in arms shipments to the Kurdish fronts against the IS. The legislation would allocate military articles directly to the Kurdish Peshmarga fighters.
"The bill proposed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is opposed by the Iraqi government, as it leads to further divisions in the region," Al-Abadi said on Wednesday.
"We call on the US Congress not to pass the bill to preserve the strategic relations between the two countries in fighting the Islamic State terrorist organization and reinforcing cooperation between them," al-Abadi added.
The Iraqi Prime Minister added that countries work- ing alongside Baghdad in combating the IS have respected Iraq’s sovereignty, and stressed that nobody will receive weapons without the consent of the central government.
“There is no double dealing with the outside parties… We stress that arming any group will not occur unless via the Iraqi government, in accordance with its military plans,” al-Abadi added.