McClatchy 7-9-2014 – The Kurds have four major demands, which were set forth in a meeting this week between the representatives of all Kurdish parties in parliament and the Kurdish negotiating team, which is headed by Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s longtime foreign minister. They are:

– Resolving within a year the status of the oil-rich Kirkuk region, which is claimed by Kurds and Arabs. Whether to incorporate it into the Kurdish region was to have been decided in a referendum by 2007, according to Article 140 of the 2005 Iraqi Constitution, but the vote was never held.

– Lifting for three months the moratorium on Kurdish direct sales of oil, during which time the Kurds could export 140,000 barrels a day. At the end of that period, negotiations would begin on a permanent agreement on Kurdish oil sales.

– The government in Baghdad paying the blocked Kurdish government salaries and recognizing the peshmerga militia as a component of the national defense forces, entitled to modern equipment and weapons.

– Granting Kurdish authorities complete control of the region’s airspace, a step intended to prevent the government in Baghdad from blocking cargo and passenger flights to the Kurdish region, something Maliki has done twice. Negotiations are likely to be tough on each demand. Shiite negotiators already have reacted coolly to the last one, while the others have been subject to stalemated talks for years. Read more here: