Iraqi President spent a day in Kirkuk to resolve differnces

November 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm

President Fuad Masum meets with the personalities of Kirkuk (photograph: Iraq presidency, 27 November 2017)

Fuad Masum the president of Iraq spent a day in Kirkuk meeting with different groups and discussing critical issues such as the selection of a new governor and the return of thousands of IDPs to the city and the surrounding districts and subdistricts.

President Masum arrived at the city on Monday at 11am and spent the day in the city, the first visit since the events of October 16 when the Iraqi forces wrestled the control of the disputed territories from the Kurdish forces sending thousands of people fleeing most of whom are staying in refugee camps in freezing temperatures.

President Masum said in a press conference after meeting with the acting governor Rakan Saeed that only the provincial council has the power to choose a new governor for the province and the council will perform its duties until the next election.

“No group can impose its will on people of Kirkuk,” President Masum said. “ We will continue our efforts to strengthen security for the city and facilitate the return of the IDPs.”

The Turkmen Front in a statement rejected the President assertion to have a role in resolving the issues of the disputed territories. Turkmen Front accused the kurdish parties of changing the demographic of the city and claimed that within 14 years of the rule by the Kurdish parties the population of the city has increased from 850,000 people to 1,650,000.

In a meeting with the elders of the city, President Masum emphasised the importance of cooperation between the Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs.

Masum also met with the Kurdish parties and stated that the provincial council should resume its work soon and ta new governor should be appointed soon. Most political parties left Kirkuk and other disputed territories after the events of October 16 and have not returned yet.

President Masum has been in Sulaymaniyah for a few days in order to try and resolve the differences between Baghdad and Erbil.

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