PUK official: our negotiating team ignored Kirkuk issue following their agreement with Massoud Barzani

PUK official: our negotiating team ignored Kirkuk issue following their agreement with Massoud Barzani
Erbil- KDP leader Massoud Barzani meets a PUK delegation led by PUK deputy secretary general Kosrat Rasul, March 3, 2019  Photo: KDP leader’s website

KirkukNow

Deputy head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PYK)’s organizational center in Kirkuk expressed resentment over his party’s agreement with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader concerning the mechanism of forming the Kurdistan Region cabinet and “excluding the issue of Kirkuk” from the talks, particularly after the KDP insisted on its previous stance to “not vote for any candidates for the position of Kirkuk governor, who were involved in the October 16, 2017 events.”

The high level meeting between PUK deputy secretary general Kosrat Rasul and KDP leader Massoud Barzani, which was held last month agreed that the new government to deal with the issue, contrary to the PUK’s earlier position which called bound the formation of the Kurdish cabinet to resolving the issue of Kirkuk and the appointment of a new governor.

“The PUK delegation has neglected the issue of Kirkuk and did not stick to their demands regarding the province”, Ghazi Kirkuki told KirkukNow.

At the start of the negotiations with regard to the formation of the new cabinet, the PUK insisted that the issue of Kirkuk, the PUK’s share in the Iraqi cabinet and the formation of the Kurdish cabinet in one basket.

The PUK lost the position of Kirkuk governor to the Arab component following the October 16, 2017 events. The party has been engaged in various attempts to reclaim the post; however all their efforts were in vain.

“The KDP does not care for the situation in Kirkuk; therefore it stipulates that it will delay voting for a new governor until the situation in Kirkuk is normalized. This is a clear indication that the KDP wants to put off until the provincial elections are held”, the PUK official added.

Kirkuk- Residents celebrate the Newroz (Kurdish New Year) festivals, March 2018  Photo: KirkukNow

Following the October 16 events and the redeployment of Iraqi federal forces in the territories disputed between Baghdad and Erbil, the KDP left Kirkuk and other disputed areas, and since then it has been calling Kirkuk an occupied territory.

Sakhawan Abdulla, member of the KDP’s delegation negotiating with the PUK over Kirkuk, speaking to KirkukNow, said, “The negotiations between the KDP, the PUK and the Iraqi government are continuing aiming to normalize the situation in the province which we expect will take more than two months.”

KDP rejects the idea of electing a governor with no authorities

Abdulla reaffirmed that ‘the KDP rejects the idea of electing a governor with no authorities”, noting that electing a governor at this time “means granting legitimacy to the occupation happening in Kirkuk.”

The KDP has repeatedly refused to vote for any candidates involved in what it calls “the October 16 betrayal”; however the KDP official refrained from disclosing the names of those accused of “betrayal”.

 

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