Massoud Barzani: Dividing Kurdistan region is a red line & a devil’s dream

Basnews – ninanews – MESOP  – 13.11.2013 – Hewlêr, ‘Iraq’:  The president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani has reacted angrily following suggestions that the second largest city in the region, Slêmanî [Sulaimaniyah], should be separated from the rest of the Kurdish enclave. – Massoud Barzani said “the unity of the region represents a red line, which cannot be compromised under any circumstances and by any means .”

He said in a letter addressed to public opinion, according to the website of the Kurdistan Regional Government, ” since a while, the media in the Kurdistan region is trading hearsay, targeting the unity of Kurdistan region and expose the citizens of the region to challenges and risks conflict with the orientations of nationalism and its supreme interests .” Barzani said that talks of dividing the Kurdistan Region are a “red line and a devil’s dream.”

He added that ” these rumors are being circulated as part of an warped effort to disengage Sulaimaniyah province , in the time the leadership of Kurdistan is continuing efforts to the apply Article 140 and re Kirkuk and other Kurdish areas outside the provincial administration to its natural position as a part of the province.”

He continued , “As we consider these rumors just illusions and bad dreams inspire some in contrary to the will of the citizens of the region , we clearly that the unity of the region is a red line and cannot be harmed under any circumstances and by any means .”

Kurdish opposition party, Gorran, has been pushing for the governor’s post to be moved to Sulaimaniyah, where the party is based. According to Gorran, they have “the right to, after winning the last three Iraqi and Kurdistan elections in the province.”“Recent talks in the media have put Kurdish interests under threat, but we see those talks as just the fantasy of a few people. It is against the Kurdish people’s will,” said Barzani. “We will continue to repeat that any talk that may threaten Kurdish unity are a red line,” warned the Kurdish president. According to local media, Gorran wants to administer the province and decrease the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) authority in the area. The PUK has controlled the area since the Kurdish civil war in the 1990s.

“Talks of separating Sulaimaniyah are efforts to destabilize the region, while Kurdish leadership is trying to implement article 140 of the Iraqi constitution and get Kirkuk and other Kurdish areas to its natural part of the Kurdistan Region,” said Barzani. Province elections have not been held in the region since 2005. It was expected to be held this month, but is likely to be further delayed. Gorran has suggested that in circumstances of Provincial elections not being held, the province local posts should be allocated according to last month’s Parliamentary election, which the movement won the majority of the votes in Sulaimaniyah province.

Furthermore, Gorran has said to want to work with an Iraqi law which gives the right to each Iraqi province to form an independent region, if the provincial council has a majority members calling for it. Barzani called on the provincial government to take the necessary, without delay, to hold provincial elections. “