Tensions with Baghdad

Kurdishaspect.com – By Harem Karem

We are all now following up not just the implementation of Article 140, but when and how? The Kurdistan political leadership is going to pursue this issue, because it was rather clear when the Iraqi permanent constitution ratified by the Iraqi leadership this article was meant not only to serve the Kurd, but it also serves all the Iraqi people.

The sooner the Iraqi government taking this article into consideration the better for the new Iraq otherwise it will cause negative consequences in building a unified federal democratic Iraq. Therefore other political obstacles should not affect the implementation of it under any circumstances. Kurd have constitutional entitlements to implement this article regardless of whoever intervenes.

The UN proposal does not decrease the article's value and this article will remain as a legal commitment. Kirkuk will always remain as Kurdish Jerusalem because it is a constitutional right and a communicational element to eliminate injustice suffered by the Kurdish people from deportation, displacement, changing the historical and geographical features by the disgraceful dictator as it’s been proven by historical documents, maps and statistics. Which is why at every negotiating table, Kurdish history has a seat.

Recently the tension on a national level have been high between Barzani and Maliki’s administration, over claims to 16 disputed areas including Kirkuk, and three other historically Kurdish populated provinces Diyala, Nineweh and Salaheddin. According to the US commanders there already have been tense confrontations between Kurdish and Iraqi security forces and this issue always remain as a threat to the stability of Iraq until it’s been solved.

Following US defence secretary Mr. Gates arrival in Hawler on the 29th of July 09, he pressed Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to resolve their disputes with the Iraqi government in the near future while the US still had some influence over Baghdad but The KRG has no intention of compromising on its longstanding claims to Kirkuk. The Iraqi Constitution, as the supreme law of the land, must serve as the starting point for dialogue with regards to these outstanding issues.

The Kurdish parliament tried to push ahead its new constitution before the election which has been perceived as a step toward full independence although it’s not been welcomed by the majority of the Kurdish public and intellectuals, but this was due to the increasing power of the presidency not because it raised the alarm to the Iraqi authority over claiming the territory, oil and gas rights that are sharply disputed by Iraq’s central government. It’s also been criticized for violating the federal constitution and giving the KRG more power than Baghdad.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has accused the Iraqi oil ministry of its auction of six oil fields as a violation of the Iraqi constitution and also two of the six fields are violation of the Kurdistan’s oil and gas law. Kirkuk and Bai Hassan oil fields are both located in the disputed territories as defined by Article 140 of the Constitution any decision related to these fields requires the direct involvement of the KRG. However the KRG has shown an aggressive strategy for exploiting its own oil and gas fields and this has led the KRG into conflict with the Iraqi oil ministry.


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August 1, 2009
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