President of Iraq Jalal Talabani was sharply critical of Iraq prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki today. Talabani told Al-Arabiya TV that: “Nuri Maliki either has to change himself or else his list has to change him”.

Referring to the stand-off in the disputed territories between Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi troops, Talabani said that he was opposed to the creation of the Iraqi ‘Dijla Operations Command’ forces and that this should have been authorised by himself, as Iraq’s president, and not by the prime minister. Talabani added that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is unhappy about Maliki’s weapons purchases from Russia because it believes these weapons could be used against the Kurds. “That is why we want coordination between Baghdad and Erbil on these issues”, he said.

KT News 3-12-2012