Barzani’s decision has no legal value / Maliki

December 15, 2012 – BAGHDAD,  – Iraqi premier Nouri al-Maliki regarded the change of terminology of the disputed areas made by the President of Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, as “having no legal value”, thus “jumping over the highest legal document; namely the constitution”.

Maliki called all executive and supervision authorities to condemn this decision and warned against adopting this decision. Earlier, Barzani ordered to change the term of “disputed areas” into “Kurdish areas outside the region”.

In a statement by the Premiership Presidency, Maliki added that this move is “an additional misuse of the constitution, which voted by the people, when President Barzani regarded all mixed areas , as named by the constitution, as disputed areas and attached to the Kurdish region”. “The Iraqi government informed all political circles and departments to abide by the constitution, particularly the attachment of these areas to the federal government”, the statement added. Tensions between Baghdad and the Kurds spiked following a decision by al-Maliki to form a new military Dijla command to oversee security forces bordering the self-ruled Kurdish region,but the Kurds say the move was unconstitutional.

The Dijla Operations Command was introduced by the central government in June to be the main command of the security and police in Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahaddin – disputed territories that both Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) lay claim to.

Massoud Barzani said on November 17, 2012, the region was fully prepared to defend itself, after a skirmish between Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops along their disputed internal border. Iraq’s Kurdistan region has sent reinforcements to a disputed area on November 24, 2012, where its troops are involved in a standoff with the Iraqi army, a senior Kurdish military official said, despite calls on both sides for dialogue to calm the situation. Iraq’s government and autonomous Kurdistan on December 13, 2012 agreed to defuse a tense standoff between their troops by gradually withdrawing them from disputed territories along their internal border, a statement from Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani said. The disputed areas a term used in accordance with the constitutional Article 140 on Kirkuk and some districts and counties in the provinces of Nineveh and Diyala.