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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Relations with KDP are ‘very, very good’: PUK’s Bafel Talabani

By Rudaw 11/10/2018
Bafel Talabani takes a few questions from Rudaw in Baghdad. Photo: Rudaw
Bafel Talabani takes a few questions from Rudaw in Baghdad. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Bafel Talabani dismissed concerns of a serious rift between the PUK and KDP. 

PUK’s relations with the KDP are "very, very good," he told Rudaw in Baghdad. 

Talabani is the eldest son of the late PUK founder Jalal Talabani. He has no official position in the party, but is an influential figure involved in many negotiations. 

The two main ruling parties in the Kurdistan Region, the PUK and KDP have at times been fast friends and bitter enemies. 

Their united front in Baghdad after the Iraqi parliamentary elections in May fell apart over the issue of the presidency – a post they both vied for. 

The KDP alleged that the PUK reneged on a deal that would have given the KDP the presidency. The PUK denied there was a formal agreement in place. Upset when the PUK’s candidate, Barham Salih, won the post, the KDP said they would no longer treat the PUK as equals, but rather in proportion to their electoral gains. 

"We never take these personally. Politics is politics. Mr. Masoud is dear, he is like my uncle,” said Talabani, referring to KDP leader Masoud Barzani. 

Talabani was reportedly behind the agreement over the presidency. He has also been accused of striking a deal with Baghdad and Iran that saw the Peshmerga withdraw from Kirkuk last year. The PUK denies the allegations.

Talabani is hopeful that they can mend fences with other Kurdish parties as well. Gorran, Komal, and New Generation have accused the PUK and KDP of electoral fraud. 

"If Kurds unite, if Kurds are together, Kurds can do whatever they want. Nobody can prevent us,” he said.

He said they plan to hold a multi-party meeting soon in order to strategize how best cement their position as the new Iraqi government is put together by Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi. 

Talabani is also optimistic they will regain the governorship in Kirkuk for the Kurds. Sunni Arab Rakan al-Jabouri has been acting as interim governor for the past year. 

"Let us the parties sit down together, for Sulaimani to be calm, sit down with our brothers in the KDP. All of this will be solved,” said Talabani.

The Kirkuk provincial council hasn’t been able to convene for months because the KDP is boycotting the city, calling it “occupied” by Iraqi federal forces. 

Both the PUK and KDP, however, would like to take the governorship. 

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love Peshmerga, AK USA | 11/10/2018
To KDP. do not trust this guy. He is a TRAITOR, he is an EVIL. he is a SNAKE. he will bite you when you're not looking. he will stub you in the back when you're not watching. PLEASE DO NUT TRUST THIS GUY just look at him he looks like a criminal that just got out of the jail. that's where he belongs for what he did in Kirkuk.
Independence | 11/10/2018
Shame on the traitor Bafel Talabani , the son of Jalal Talabani sho has the dishonor to be the first who divided the Kurds.
The Kurdish Boy | 11/10/2018
The Kurdish people will at some point put Bafel Talabani on trial and make him pay for his treason.
| 12/10/2018
This is from a Proven Criminal Fraudster who's word can never be trusted and who's family has stolen billions of KRG monies and laundered them into offshore accounts. A criminal Warlord being allowed to lead a Kurd political party and dipstick Masoud few months ago called him a traitor of the people. Clearly they are both traitors of the people as neither delivered on the promises of Independence that so many died for
Unite | 12/10/2018
"Politics is politics"..Well, bollocks is bollocks and blood merchants are blood merchants. I cannot believe that that blood sucker is still alive and walking free. What is happening to the Kurds? If KDP sit down with the family of wolves, after betrayal after betrayal and causing so much damage and heartache to the urdish nation, it will be the last nail in the coffin of trust and faith in the KDP and KRG. No one from inside or outside will ever trust the KDP and KRG if anyone see or hear that blood sucker and his family of wolves sit at the same table with the KDP.
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