Barzani in Kirkuk: Iraqi Commanders Appointed Illegally

Dec 11, 2012 : Peyamner News Agency, Al-Sumaria News

The Kurdistan Region president, Massoud Barzani, Monday visited Kirkuk and inspected the Kurdish forces in the Laylan area on the outskirts of the city. “Today, you have a holy duty to fulfil, because you are protecting the future of the Kurdish nation,” Barzani told a Peshmerga force, Peyamner News Agency, of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party quoted him as saying on 10 December.

He said that together with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, they did not spare any effort to rebuilt the new Iraq and establish the constitution, “which ensures Iraq’s territorial integrity”. “Yet regrettably, we do not see any commitment to the constitution today, as the commanders of the [army] divisions are appointed by Iraq and none of these [appointments] have gone through the parliament as they should; they are done illegally,” he added. He said that settling for Article 140 does not mean that “we have any doubt about the Kurdistan identify of Kirkuk and other areas, but it was a means to resolve the disputes through a conditional measure.”

The statement comes amid tensions with Baghdad over the management of security  in the disputed areas and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s insistence that Iraqi Army is entitled to be deployed in any part of Iraq. Immediately after Barzani’s visit, a member of the Arab Political Council in Kirkuk, Hussain Ali al-Jiburi, said that the visit was “untimely”, given the delicate situation in the area, Al-Sumaria News website cited him as saying. Najat Hussain, a Turkoman official, was also cited saying that the visit could exacerbate the situation further, Al-Sumaria said.Jalal Talabani is currently holding talks with Shiite leaders in an effort to defuse tensions.