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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Peshmerga and Iraqis continue negotiations on force deployment

By Rudaw 31/10/2017
Iraqi security forces gather outside the Kurdish-held city of Altun Kupri on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, October 19, 2017. Khalid Mohammed/AP
Iraqi security forces gather outside the Kurdish-held city of Altun Kupri on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, October 19, 2017. Khalid Mohammed/AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region –  Meetings between military delegations of the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi government continued negotiations to reach an agreement on outstanding issues, particularly focusing on the deployment of Iraqi forces to borders and disputed areas.

“The discussions with the Kurdistan Region’s delegation are positive. We have reached an agreement on deploying Iraqi forces in all border ports and we will reach the phase of handing over the airports. This way, we implemented what is contained in the Iraqi constitution,” said Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim Ahraji in a televised interview.

Jabar Yawar, the secretary general of the Peshmerga ministry, has said that the two sides have so far had shared positions on only one issue.

After Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered military movements halted on October 27, military delegations from the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi government met and have so far held three meetings.

“There currently are no big problems between the central and Kurdistan Regional government, except for the federal government supervising border ports, airports and oil fields in accordance with Article 112 of the Iraqi constitution which states that oil is the property of the Iraqi nation,” added Ahraji.

The US-led global coalition to defeat ISIS confirmed to Rudaw English it has attended some of the meetings.

“Dialogue remains the best option to defuse tensions,” said coalition spokesperson Ryan Dillon, a US army colonel.

Two of these meetings were held in Mosul and one in the Kurdistan Region.

“We don’t intend to punish Kurdistan’s nation for any stance they may take. We should all gather under the umbrella of the constitution. We can amend the constitution if there are people having a problem with some articles in the constitution. We are optimistic about the future of Iraq. All the problems between central and Kurdistan Regional government will be resolved in the near future,” Ahraji detailed. 

Yawar said that these meetings will continue and will generally focus on two questions. First is deploying joint forces in disputed areas. There are similar views on this issue on both parts.

The second topic is managing border ports, especially Ibrahim Khalil and Fishkhabur. There are different opinions on the question.

The coalition has complained that fighting between Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga threatens to halt logistical support for its forces in Syria.

Fishkhabur is used by the coalition to transport supplies from the Kurdistan Region into eastern Syria.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in an interview on Tuesday that Peshmerga forces must come under the control of Baghdad or be downsized.

He also said Iraq's federal authorities will impose exclusive control over all international entry points to and from the Kurdistan Region.

The final messaged conveyed on Tuesday on behalf the Kurdistan Region by the Peshmerga to Iraq and Prime Minister Haider Abadi is that the Peshmerga will in no way allow the Iraqi army or Hashd al-Shaabi to fly the flag of Hussein and Ali or station their military in Fishkhabur or Ibrahim Khalil. The Kurdish delegation has told Baghdad that this is unacceptable.

The Kurdish delegation has told Baghdad that it can send civilian employees to Fishkhabur or Ibrahim Khalil within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. But they question bringing an army to these places which already have security and border patrol guards.

The Kurdish delegation has told Baghdad not to set a deadline or ultimatum for dialogue.

Updated to add Peshmerga warnings about Shiite banners at border points at 9:22 p.m.

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Muraz Adzhoev | 31/10/2017
If really “under the umbrella of the constitution“, which the hostile Iraqi federal authorities have been violating, even “raping” it for more than 12 years already, then Baghdad must recognize and appropriately respect the almost 93%, more than 3 million “Yes” votes of the People, all communities and groups of Southern Kurdistan for territorial reintegration and sovereign independence from deadly failed and tragically divided Iraq. It is not acceptable at all and possible any more to “use” this constitution selectively only when it is very profitable only for Baghdad criminal authorities. Southern Kurdistan de-facto has separated from Iraq and anyway will soon become recognized worldwide in accordance with the legitimate and justified decision of the earnestly self-determined People led by the national leader Masoud Barzani, the authorities, the majority of patriotic - political parties and organizations.
Jan | 31/10/2017
“We don’t intend to punish Kurdistan’s nation for any stance they may take. We should all gather under the umbrella of the constitution. We can amend the constitution if there are people having a problem with some articles in the constitution. We are optimistic about the future of Iraq. All the problems between central and Kurdistan Regional government will be resolved in the near future,” OH BUT REALLY? You've starved the Kurdistan region of money which should have been paid according to the constitution for many years. You haven't paid the salaries of Civil servants in Kurdistan for years. You have tried to harm the Kurds and their country at every opportunity you've had. Bullshit talks but money speaks says me.
guest2002 | 31/10/2017
Giving up you land and letting your enemy rule your people is not negotiating!!! Only cowards trying to hide their cowardice use the facade of negotiations !! How far north you are going to retreat to , to please those shiia jihadis!!
Independence | 31/10/2017
The Kurds must return to the battlefied
Biji Kurdistan | 1/11/2017
Negotiations? What a joke. The Kurdish war of independence was lost in a day. Our fighters should have put a bullet in any commander ordering the Pesh to retreat. they should have fought in Kirkuk until the city was flattened and we should've burned all the oil fields before any withdrawal was made. Even if we lost the city, at least the Kurdish nation could have saved face. Now the Peshmerga are seen as cowards, dreams of nationhood are shattered, and Kurdish lands and borders are being served to Abadi on a silver platter. The government needs to reform and get rid of tribal parties, unify the Peshmerga, and make sure they go back to their roots of Guerrila Warfare. Train and supply any Kurds willing to fight the Iraq/Iran occupation in the disputed areas. If need be, Use false flag attacks to create division among the Iraqis, Iranians,and Turks. The fiery vengeance of Kurdistan should be spread throughout the region.
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