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President Barzani promises ‘special status’ in meeting with Kirkuk components

By Rudaw 12/9/2017
President Masoud Barzani [M], Vice President Kosrat Rasul [L] and Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim [R] attend a meeting address the people of Kirkuk on September 12, 2017 in Kirkuk. Photo: Rudaw video
President Masoud Barzani [M], Vice President Kosrat Rasul [L] and Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim [R] attend a meeting address the people of Kirkuk on September 12, 2017 in Kirkuk. Photo: Rudaw video

KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish President Masoud Barzani has met with some representatives of the Turkmen, Arab and Kurdish components in Kirkuk on Tuesday. He said Kirkuk should have “a special status” as part of a future independent Kurdistan. 

The meeting comes as some Arab and Turkmen parties of Kirkuk have decided to boycott the Kurdish independence referendum that will also include the disputed or Kurdistani areas such as the oil-rich and multi ethnic Kirkuk.

Iraqi government opposes the referendum vote calling it unconstitutional. Just today, the Iraqi parliament voted against Kurdistan's referendum calling on the Iraqi government to take “all measures” in order to cancel the referendum in the Kurdistan Region and the disputed areas. 

President Barzani has said that if the Iraqi government was genuine, they would have implemented Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution that concerns the disputed areas a decade ago, Barzani's senior assistant Hemin Hawrami tweeted.


Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim, and the Kurdistan Vice President Kosrat Rasul also attended the meeting. 

Barzani emphasized that the vote that is set to take place on September 25 is a natural right, and that the vote is "not [for] redrawing borders," Hawrami added.

Barzani said that only the people of Kirkuk are entitled to determine their fate, and that no one else is allowed to impose a certain status in the province.

"Kirkuk should have a special status within the independent Kurdistan based on genuine partnership," Hawrami quoted Barzani as saying. 

Kurdistan envisions Kirkuk as a symbol of coexistence, Barzani told BBC’s Turkish service in an interview published on Saturday.
Asked about the possibility of a military confrontation if Kirkuk takes part, Barzani said Kurds are ready to fight to keep Kirkuk part of the Kurdistan Region.
“I hope that we are not going to be forced to wage war because of Kirkuk. We do not want that to happen,” Barzani told the BBC. “But if some people want to take Kirkuk away from Kurdistan through the use of weapons, then you will see how all the Kurds are going to be prepared for a fight for this city.”
Barzani said last month that they are ready to offer senior positions to Turkmens, Arabs, and others in Kirkuk, but stressed that the Kurdistani identity of the province is not up for debate.
“Concessions will not be made over the identity of Kirkuk,” Barzani said, promising that nobody will be able to “take Kirkuk by force” and that Kurds will fight to the last person and breathe to defend its identity.


Muraz Adzhoev | 12/9/2017
All patriotic Kurdish and other ethnic political parties and organizations of Southern Kurdistan should immediately withdraw their members-lawmakers from the illegitimately and non-constitutionally acting parliament of deadly failed and hostile Iraqi Arab Islamic federation. This is an absolutely reasonable requirement to return back home from bloody Baghdad before the 25.09 - Referendum on reintegration and independence of Southern Kurdistan. Bilateral talks and negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad can and must be conducted yet (soon after the Referendum) only through official diplomatic relations between Kurdistan and Iraq. Actually time is over for any formal relations between dead Iraqi federation and alive Kurdistan Region. That's the true fact which can not be refuted any more.
FAUthman | 12/9/2017
A lot of tension in the air before the referendum! Keep an eye on Kurdistan parliament in Arbil, whether it will meet soon, and on statements by Abadi who could declare military offensives or threats though I doubt it. Whether he is a mouth piece for Dawa or not is not clear and how much can the US influence the unfolding of events in the remaining days left before the referendum! The referendum will proceed as planned and then the situation will calm down as both sides will prepare for elections!
Patrick Sloan
Patrick Sloan | 14/9/2017
This American and many more supports you Kurdistan. Hold fast Kurdish friends, your bright and shining place on the world stage is about to begin. I will be standing by with my Kurdish flag to shout and leap for joy when you all become an independent nation. Stay the course.
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