UNITED NATIONS, New York – The United Nations mission in Iraq is equipped, ready, and willing to help resolve the problem of the disputed areas in Iraq, the head of the mission told Rudaw’s Majeed Gly in an exclusive interview at the UN headquarters in New York.
The United Nations has already begun preparatory steps and is talking with all the relevant parties – in Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaimani, and the civil society in Kirkuk, testing the waters, said Jan Kubis, special envoy of the Secretary-General to Iraq and head of the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI).
In all of his discussions, he has seen a new willingness of the part of everyone to find a solution as parties find commonalities.
Everyone is unhappy with aspects of the situation in Kirkuk – Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen – and “everyone is pledging to work for solutions. This for me is a good start,” Kubis explained.
We know the problems, he said, and now, “There is a growing understanding that just to state complaints and expect that the other side will simply disappear – no, this will not happen.”
Whether or not the parties will accept a UN role in resolving Article 140 of the constitution that addresses the disputed areas and whether or not the Security Council will amend the mission’s mandate, Kubis is hopeful that Iraq is entering a new phase and that everyone accepts negotiation is the only way to solve the Kirkuk problem.
Kubis also discussed the recent elections, formation of the new government, Muqtada al-Sadr, and relations between Erbil and Baghdad.