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Kurdistan

KDP, Gorran strike deal as PUK digs in heels over Kirkuk

By Rudaw 16/2/2019
PUK Leadership Council meet in Sulaimani, February 16, 2019. Photo: PUK media outlets
PUK Leadership Council meet in Sulaimani, February 16, 2019. Photo: PUK media outlets

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Without an official agreement on Kirkuk, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) will not strike a deal on paper with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), PUK officials said Saturday. The comments came as the Change Movement (Gorran) and the KDP reached an agreement.


Headed by Kosrat Rasul Ali, the party’s most senior official, the PUK Leadership Council met in Sulaimani on Saturday to discuss Friday’s meeting between the politburos of the Region’s two biggest parties, the PUK and the KDP.

Their meeting came ahead of a parliamentary session scheduled for Monday, February 18. 

However, following the Leadership Council meeting on Saturday, a PUK official said: “The three questions – the parliament session, Kirkuk, and Baghdad – must be worked on together, not preparations made for just one of them.” 

The official’s comments come despite a statement from KDP spokesman Mahmood Mohammed following Friday’s meeting, which stressed that issues related to the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Kirkuk’s governorship, and the presidency had been resolved.

On February 5, after months of wrangling, the KDP and PUK appeared to have finally reached an agreement to hold a parliament session and the Kirkuk Provincial Council meeting simultaneously on February 18.

However, Ala Talabani, an MP in the Iraqi parliament and a member of the PUK Leadership Council, told the party’s media the Kirkuk question has not been settled.

“We have emphasized that without a final say on Kirkuk, we will not sign any agreements,” Talabani said.

The importance of the oil-rich disputed province to solving the KDP-PUK impasse was summed up by senior PUK official Bafel Talabani on the sidelines of talks when he said: “Reaching an agreement is very easy: Kirkuk, Kirkuk, and Kirkuk.”

Discussing Friday’s meeting on Saturday, the PUK said it is committed to “the basis of February 5’s political agreement which was ratified between the KDP and PUK politburos, which detailed the meetings of the Kirkuk Provincial Council, the election of a governor and the normalization of the province as well as the Kurdistan Parliament’s session.”

The PUK added it is “ready for a comprehensive political agreement on the questions of Kurdistan, Kirkuk and Iraq as one single package.”

“Any steps made forward without an agreement between the political parties, particularly between the KDP and PUK, will not serve the interests of our nation and the political process.”

Recent developments on the ground require “unity and unanimity” to stand against threats to the Kurdistan Region.

The Kurdistan Region held parliamentary elections on September 30, 2018. The winning parties are yet to form a government. 

Saturday also saw an agreement between the KDP and the Change Movement (Gorran) following a marathon meeting lasting five hours. 

“The Change Movement-KDP political agreement was endorsed – Gorran and the KDP will take part in the February 18 [parliamentary] meeting; both sides reached the final phase of the mechanism of forming the government and there was good progress to meet that end; the agreement project will be taken to the leadership of both sides to approve it,” according to a joint statement published late Saturday. 

Gorran negotiator Ali Hama Salih described the meeting as “exhausting” but said his party’s demands were “approved”. 

No further details were offered on the content of the agreement.

“The Change Movement and KDP agreed on what the government mechanism should look like,” Rozh Nuri Shaways, a KDP negotiator, told reporters.

Last updated 10.05 pm

Comments

 
Muraz Adzhoev | 16/2/2019
The appropriate Kurdistan Region authorities must decisively take all the necessary legal (and forceful) measures for the preliminary arrest of the PUK leadership members and some affiliated persons suspected in the “October 16” treason and betrayal in order to complete the investigation for prosecuting them and bringing the case to the court as soon as possible. They have been purposefully posing the serious threat to the security, stability and integrity of Kurdistan and must be legitimately punished the sooner the better on behalf of the self-determined People and the Peshmerga forces of Southern Kurdistan.
Will | 16/2/2019
This isnt the 90s anymore! The PUK is all talk and no action and I hope that the KDP sees through their empty threats and weak position. Forming a government without the PUk is the best political move the KDP can make, just take a look at what happened to Gorran when they were frozen out. KDP together with Gorran and the other parties should form a government as soon as possible and shunn the traitors of 16th october! Let the PUK fizzle out! Cut of kerkuk and cut of a major source of money!Let Gorran take care of them in slemani and the other areas by shining light on their corruption and soon their thieving will end in slemani! Apoint gorran officials at the border area and its bye bye PUK!
Mama risha! | 17/2/2019
Talabani famili, you left your people and you betrade your own peshmergas so they cryed when you sold kirkuk! Whit are you doing now!? Shame! Just shame!
Jay | 17/2/2019
It's all aboit who takes Kirkuk and end up siphoning the oil, since Hero has lost her share from smuggling oil she has been a voice in disagreement. Having said that, why the hell does PUK have to have a say in Kirkuk issue, they are the ones handed Kirkuk to Iran backed Militia, most probably to give Hero a share of oil or a post for her son traitor son Belav.
Kirkuki Kurd | 17/2/2019
As a Kirkuki we don not welcome PUK back in Kirkuk until they will put those who betrayed us on trials. Kirkuk must be government by a PDK candidate and not those who is been betraying us since 1966 up to 2017 and till this moment. Kirkuk belongs to Kurdistan and we proved that on 25 of September's referendum for independent. Shia and PUK affiliates out of Kirkuk, the heart of Kurdistan.
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