Spokesperson of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Saadi Ahmed Pira at a press conference in 2017. File photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A delegation of Kurdish parties
from the Kurdistan Region are set to visit the Iraqi city of Najaf on Thursday
to participate in a conference organized by Middle East Research Institute in
Kurdistan (MERI) and an Iraqi organization.
"We are not the delegation of the Kurdistan Regional
Government. We are a delegation composed of the political parties participating
in a seminar or discussion of exchange of ideas and mutual understanding,”
Saadi Ahmad Pira, a spokesperson for the PUK, told journalists.
Twenty people from MERI and the Kurdish politicians comprise
the delegation. They will first visit the city’s high-level clergy (Marja) in
the city and then participate in panels.
The focus panels will be touch on good-governance, the current
issues between Baghdad and Erbil, the broader Middle East, and ways of resolving these issues.
The goal of the visit is for the participants is to discuss issues
directly with each other rather than threaten and intimidate each other,
according to Pira.
He added that they will ask the Shiite Marja to take action
against the mobilization of the Shiite people against the Kurdistan Region in their
sermons and other religious ceremonies.
"The foundational principles of working together in
Iraq were coexistence and consensus. Recently consensus was worn down. This
principle[s] should be an essential principle for a multi-ethnic and diverse
state,” Pira said.
According to Pira, instead of a sectarian approach to the
military, government and politics in Iraq, a broad state that is representative
of its components need to be implemented, and that cannot be accomplished by Kurds
He criticized the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for
not committing to what he says, and assured him that he cannot bolster his
elections campaign through punishing the Kurdistan Region.
“We told large numbers of Iraqi officials that we have a
problem with Mr. Haider al-Abadi. We cannot build our relations with Mr. Haider
al-Abadi based on talks that could vary anytime. He says something today, [then]
he reneges from it,” Pira said.
Abadi has made many promises throughout his press
conferences. He has promised to pay KRG salaries more than once.
"The main purpose of his press conferences is either
celebrating his victory over Daesh, although he is not the sole champion, but
all of the Iraqi people, including Kurds, Arabs, Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and
Turkmen as well, or making a promise which he rescinds,” Pira argued, using
another term for ISIS.
He warned Abadi that he cannot win the Kurds over, if he
continues working in the same way.
Iraq is set to hold parliamentary elections on May 12.
Pira also commented on the issues of Tuz Khurmatu and
accused neighbors of being complicit in what happened. He declared that they
would bring the issue of Tuz Khurmatu up in whatever meetings they have with
whoever it is.
"Crime has been committed in Tuz Khurmatu. Something
akin to genocide has been perpetuated. The problems of Tuz Khurmatu have
multiple aspects. More than one country and party are complicit in bringing
ruin to Tuz Khurmatu,” Pira asserted.
The multi-ethnic Tuz Khurmatu had five Kurds in major
positions ousted, including the mayor of the town, ousted. Many houses of the
Kurdish population of there have been looted, confiscated, or burned.