PUK and Gorran Meet for First Time in Six Years

26/09/2012 RUDAW  By HEVIDAR AHMED – SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Change Movement (Gorran) met on Sunday for the first time in six years.

Nawshirwan Mustafa visited Iraqi President and PUK leader Jalal Talabani after years of tension and rivalry between the two sides. Mustafa was Talabani’s deputy in the PUK until he split and formed his own Gorran party in 2009.

The visit came after Talabani returned from receiving treatment in Germany where he was hospitalized for around three months.  “We have had meetings and open channels of communication for nearly a year,” said Azad Jundiyani, PUK’s spokesman. “Some social figures mediated and, as a result, Mr. Mustafa and his delegation decided to visit Mr. Talabani.”

Following the meeting, both leaders told journalists that they shared identical views on many issues in Iraqi and Kurdish politics.

They also added that the draft version of Kurdistan’s constitution, ratified last year by MPs, needs to be returned to the chamber for further amendment and that some other laws “with a national dimension” need to be revised by parliament.President Talabani said that the power-sharing “strategic agreement” that exists between the PUK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) needs to be adjusted as well. The KDP and PUK are the two ruling parties in Kurdistan’s government. There has been speculation that the KDP might be alarmed by the recent rapprochement between the PUK and Gorran. But Gorran leaders say they have informed the KDP about their meeting with the PUK. Fazil Mirani, a senior KDP politician, apparently told Gorran leaders that his party “has no suspicions about the relations between the PUK and Gorran.”