*** " Land, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, is the only thing that matters. It is the only thing that lasts. " - Gerald O'Hara, " Gone With The Wind " ***
Kurdistan: Article 140 of the essence of the differences with the Centre and its implementation will solve 90% of them
Arbil April 6 / April (PNA) - MP from the Kurdistan Alliance bloc Sherif Soliman that the essence of the dispute between the Federal Government and the Government of the Territory is the lack of commitment the first implementation of the provisions of Article 140 of the permanent constitution of the country, noting that the implementation can be resolved 90% of the outstanding differences between parties.
Sulaiman said that "Article 140 is one of the basic demands of the Kurdistan Alliance and one of the obstacles that hinder solve many of the outstanding issues between the federal government and the region," noting that its implementation "passes through three stages, and the government has yet to accomplish any of these stages," adding that "disregard of Kurdish nationalism."
He added that "the application of Article 140 on the ground will 90% of the outstanding problems between the center and the region," pointing out that "other differences are not differences Asttratejah; except Article 140 is the essence of the dispute and its failure to implement would be deterred resolve differences other," explaining that " The government is not serious about the implementation of Article 140 "of the Constitution.
*** THE FOLLOWING COURTESY OF SHREDD / BONDLADY'S CORNER ***
What is Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution??
The Kirkuk referendum is the Kirkuk part of a plebiscite that will decide whether the Kurdish regions within Iraqi governorates of Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah ad Din and Ninawa will become part of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. The referendum was initially planned for 15 November 2007, but was delayed first to 31 December, and then by a further six months.
The Kurdish Alliance emphasized that the delay was for technical and not for political reasons. As the election was not called by early December 2008, it was postponed again as part of the deal to facilitate the regional elections on 31 January 2009. No fresh date has yet been set.
Article 140 of the Constitution of Iraq states that before the Kirkuk referendum is carried out, measures should be taken to reverse the Arabization policy employed by the Saddam Hussein administration during the Al-Anfal Campaign. Thousands of Kurds returned to Kirkuk following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The referendum will decide whether enough have returned for the area to be considered Kurdish.
The Article 140 states:
First: The executive authority shall undertake the necessary steps to complete the implementation of the requirements of all subparagraphs of Article 58 of the Transitional Administrative Law.
Second: The responsibility placed upon the executive branch of the Iraqi Transitional Government stipulated in Article 58 of the Transitional Administrative Law shall extend and continue to the executive authority elected in accordance with this Constitution, provided that it accomplishes completely (normalization and census and concludes with a referendum in Kirkuk and other disputed territories to determine the will of their citizens), by a date not to exceed the 31st of December 2007.
The above mentioned Article 58 states:
A. The Iraqi Transitional Government, and especially the Iraqi Property Claims Commission and other relevant bodies, shall act expeditiously to take measures to remedy the injustice caused by the previous regime’s practices in altering the demographic character of certain regions, including Kirkuk, by deporting and expelling individuals from their places of residence, forcing migration in and out of the region, settling individuals alien to the region, depriving the inhabitants of work, and correcting nationality. To remedy this injustice, the Iraqi Transitional Government shall take the following steps:
1. With regard to residents who were deported, expelled, or who emigrated; it shall, in accordance with the statute of the Iraqi Property Claims Commission and other measures within the law, within a reasonable period of time, restore the residents to their homes and property, or, where this is unfeasible, shall provide just compensation.
2. With regard to the individuals newly introduced to specific regions and territories, it shall act in accordance with Article 10 of the Iraqi Property Claims Commission statute to ensure that such individuals may be resettled, may receive compensation from the state, may receive new land from the state near their residence in the governorate from which they came, or may receive compensation for the cost of moving to such areas.
3. With regard to persons deprived of employment or other means of support in order to force migration out of their regions and territories, it shall promote new employment opportunities in the regions and territories.
4. With regard to nationality correction, it shall repeal all relevant decrees and shall permit affected persons the right to determine their own national identity and ethnic affiliation free from coercion and duress.
B. The previous regime also manipulated and changed administrative boundaries for political ends. The Presidency Council of the Iraqi Transitional Government shall make recommendations to the National Assembly on remedying these unjust changes in the permanent constitution. In the event the Presidency Council is unable to agree unanimously on a set of recommendations, it shall unanimously appoint a neutral arbitrator to examine the issue and make recommendations. In the event the Presidency Council is unable to agree on an arbitrator, it shall request the Secretary General of the United Nations to appoint a distinguished international person to be the arbitrator.
C. The permanent resolution of disputed territories, including Kirkuk, shall be deferred until after these measures are completed, a fair and transparent census has been conducted and the permanent constitution has been ratified. This resolution shall be consistent with the principle of justice, taking into account the will of the people of those territories.
— Article 58, Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period
— Article 140, Constitution of Iraq
"We shall accept a solution for Kirkuk worked out by the parties inside the city and oppose any solution imported from outside parties that are enemies to the Kurdish people's experiment."
— Najat Hassan Karim, senior Kurdish politician, The Washington Post, 17 April 2009 
The government of Nouri al-Maliki has appointed a "Commission on the Normalisation of the Status of Kirkuk", to implement the de-arabization program. The Justice Minister, Hashim Abderrahman al-Shibli, a secular Sunni Arab from the secular Iraqi National List coalition was appointed the head. A program of normalisation was to be followed by a census by July 2007 and a referendum in November 2007.
In April 2007, Turkish intelligence sources claimed that Kurdistan President Barzani had "offered bribes to various Iraqi officials" involved in the Commission, including $500,000 to al-Shibli. Turkey claimed that Iraqi Kurdistan was planning to annex Kirkuk "illegally", and that the rights of Iraqi Turkmen would be violated if Kirkuk joined Iraqi Kurdistan.
Shibli resigned as head of the Commission in March 2007, citing disagreements with his own coalition on Kirkuk. Raed Fahmy Jahid, another Sunni Arab from the INL was appointed his replacement in August 2007.
In February 2007, the Commission adopted a controversial plan, which gave Sunni Arabs $15,000 to relocate back to their towns of origin, plus a plot of land in their new home.
In September 2007, it was reported that the normalization program had been bogged down in technical difficulties. The Kurdish parties were reported to have agreed a delay to the timetable for the census and referendum.
 Position of Iraqi parties
Shi'ite Arab parties
The Sadrist Movement called for the referendum to be postponed in June 2007. Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council: In July 2007 they were reported to have supported a delay. Kurdish parties
Massoud Barzani, Kurdistan Democratic Party head has said that a delay of three to four months would be acceptable. In September 2007, a news agency reported that the Kurdish parties had agreed a postponement to May 2008. However, Barzani said that failure to implement the law would "result in real civil war". Sunni Arab parties
The Iraqi National Dialogue Front called for a delay in June. The Iraqi Accord Front proposed a delay in June, by way of an amendment to the Constitution of Iraq Turkmen parties
Sadettin Ergeç, the leader of the Iraqi Turkmen Front said in June that they aimed to save Kirkuk as the capital of Iraqi Turkmens or at least earn it a special status.
 International reactions
The Turkish government strongly oppose holding of the upcoming referendum in 2007, calling for it to be postponed. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih said in a statement posted on the internet on 9 December 2006, "The issue of Kirkuk will be resolved in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution Article 140. Consequently, this constitutional question will be resolved by the Iraqis themselves. No one can interfere in that." On 10 December, in a speech made at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in Manama, Bahrain, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul warned the Iraqi government against imposing an "unrealistic" future on Kirkuk. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari criticized Gonul, saying, "You speak of Kirkuk as if it is a Turkish city. These are matters for Iraq to decide."
The Iraq Study Group of senior American politicians recommended that the referendum be delayed "to avert communal violence given the very dangerous situation in Kirkuk".
Iran called for a delay of two years for political reasons in early November 2007.
Saudi Arabia reportedly offered the Iraqi Kurdish leaders $2 billion in exchange for delaying the process for ten years.
In June 2008 the UNAMI head, Staffan de Mistura recommended that the Akra District of Ninawa Governorate and the Makhmur District of Kirkuk Governorate be incorporated into Kurdistan but that the al-Hamdaniya area of Ninawa Governorate and the Mandali area of Diyala Governorate be excluded. These recommendations were rejected by the Council of Representatives of Iraq.
Operational concepts, such as this one, are prospective frameworks used to prepare for major upcoming events. They can be used to structure preparations, estimate costs, and provide an additional layer of critical evaluation for policymakers.
This updated operational concept, published in November 2012, includes a situation assessment, historical background for the referendum, an overview of the legal framework, sections on regional and local security including the implications of the ongoing crisis in Syria, analysis of civic and voter education in Iraq, analysis of voter registration and operations, financial requirements for the referendum, mechanisms for dispute resolution, and general policy recommendations.
These elements are assembled into a scenario that provides the organizers of the referendum a common vision of issues, obstacles, and processes. In so doing, referendum organizers can make better-informed policy decisions to enhance the democratic quality and technical efficiency of referendum administration.
The latest PDF version of this document can be viewed or downloaded here.
The next iteration of this document is scheduled for publication in May 2013.
Additional in-house academic research as well as analysis by practitioners is available through our research page.
*** AND ***
No Progress in Implementing Article 140 of Iraq's Constitution
Posted GMT 11-10-2011 1:5:47
SULAIMANI, Iraqi Kurdistan -- Eight years ago, Iraqi leaders sat around a table in Baghdad and under US supervision wrote a new constitution for Iraq. Article 140 of the constitution was to solve the issue of all disputed territories -- areas in the Diyala, Kirkuk and Nineveh provinces -- claimed by both the central government and the Kurdistan Region.
The deadline for the full implementation of this article was set for 2007. The Kurds opposed this deadline, saying it was too far in the future. Now, almost five years later, the deadline and Article 140 are still ink on paper.
Kurdish MPs in the Iraqi Parliament have collectively admitted they do not have enough representatives to seriously influence the Iraqi government. But they deny having been lax on the issue.
Saman Fawzi, an MP from the Kurdish alliance in the Iraqi Parliament, said, "Despite addressing this issue several times in the Iraqi Parliament, it has become crystal clear that the Iraqi government is deliberately procrastinating."
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, none of Iraq's three prime ministers -- Ayad Allawi, Ibrahim al-Jaafari or Nuri al-Maliki -- has taken any serious steps to implement Article 140.
Hopes were high that Maliki would put Article 140 into action, especially after he signed an agreement with Erbil in 2010, promising to implement the article. The Kurds threw their support behind him in exchange for his pledge, making it possible for Maliki to keep his post as prime minister for a second term.
The Kurds demanded that Article 140 be fully implemented by 2012. But Fawzi believes, "With this snail pace, it won't be possible to implement it within this timeframe."
Article 140 consists of three phases. The first is called "normalization" whereby displaced Kurdish families would return to their homes and Arab families brought by the former Iraqi regime to largely Kurdish areas would have to leave. The second phase is to carry out a census; the third and final stage is to carry out a public referendum on whether residents in disputed territories want their areas to be governed by the central authorities or join the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.
Latif Sheikh Mustafa, an MP from the Change Movement (Gorran), dismissed claims that Kurdish MPs are not doing enough to push for Article 140.
"We have always raised this issue in the Iraqi Parliament, but it's the duty of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to pressure Baghdad, because we have a small number (of MPs) in the Iraqi Parliament," said Mustafa.
Mustafa said the Iraqi government has allocated around US$1.5 billion to compensate people from disputed territories as part of implementing Article 140.
"This money will make a big difference, but they don't spend it properly," he said. "Every now and then they spend a small amount. If they continue spending these funds at this slow and sluggish pace, we will need at least ten more years to complete the compensation phase and reach the second phase."
Mustafa said the MPs have asked the President of the Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani not to wait for Baghdad and to start compensating people using revenues from the Kurdistan region's oil exports.
But Nermin Osman, former deputy head of the Article 140 committee, thinks differently.
"The Kurdish leadership needs to make an agreement with Baghdad in a different way; they shouldn't tie the census phase to the normalization phase, so they can carry out the census (first)," she said.
The Iraqi government formed a new committee to oversee the implementation of Article 140 four months ago, headed by Hadi al-Amiri. However, within weeks Osman, a Kurd, was removed from her post.
The Kurds believe that Iraqi Sunni and Shia politicians, despite their deep political rivalry, are united in their stance on the issue of Kirkuk and other disputed territories.
Last month, a number of Iraqi politicians made comments along the lines of "Kirkuk is an Iraqi city" and "Article 140 is dead."
Shwan Muammad Taha, an MP from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Iraqi Parliament, believes it's time that top Kurdish leaders step in and push for the implementation of Article 140.
"This can be solved by the Kurdish political leadership, because we (Kurdish MPs) do not have a decisive number of votes in the Iraqi Parliament," Taha said.
Meanwhile, a Kirkuk city official who requested anonymity, criticized the Kurdish leadership for compensating displaced Kurds without ensuring that they are resettling in their original towns and cities.
"They only talk about compensations," he said. "Some displaced families from Kirkuk still reside in Erbil and Sulaimani and they have received compensation. Why isn't anyone returning to Kirkuk? The government should follow up on that and make them return."
Iraqi Kurdistan is that part of northern Iraq that borders Turkey to the north, Syrian to the west, and Iran to the east. Following the 1991 Gulf War and the subsequent Kurdish popular uprising, the former Iraqi regime retaliated with a vicious onslaught that drove tens of thousands of families from their homes into neighboring countries.
Under pressure from the media and public opinion, and as called for by UN Security Council Resolution 688, the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and France intervened along with other governments to establish a no-fly zone and safe haven in April 1991 that allowed the refugees to return to their homes. In an effort to intimidate the people and to create a power vacuum, later in 1991 the former Iraqi regime unilaterally withdrew its forces and administration from many areas of Iraqi Kurdistan.
In 1992 the people of Iraqi Kurdistan held their first free general elections. As a result, the Kurdistan National Assembly –recently renamed the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament- and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were established. These were the first internationally observed elections in Iraq.
All these events led to the establishment of a demarcation line that separated the KRG-administered areas from the rest of Iraq. This artificial line did not determine the real boundaries of Iraqi Kurdistan. The line cuts through Iraqi Kurdistan separating out more than 40% of the territory that has been predominately Kurdish and subjected to extreme abuse by the former regime. This area also includes significant numbers of Arabs, Turkmens, and Christians. Tens of thousands of Kurdish families were expelled from these areas, notably from Kirkuk, and replaced by Arabs from southern Iraq.
This boundary line per Article-143 of the Iraqi Constitution (which is based on article 53 of the ‘Law of Administration for the State of Iraq’) was unilaterally, and undemocratically, determined in October 1991. The demarcation line was militarized and within one month, in November 1991, more than 20,000 families were forced to migrate from areas south of the line - mostly from Kirkuk areas - to the territory north of the line.
Constitution Article-140 lays down a clear road map to define the final boundaries of the territory to be administered by the KRG. The excessive delay in implementing this article is the primary cause of tension and administrative problems in the so-called disputed areas. These are areas that suffered severely from ethnic cleansing and community destruction under the former regime.
Failure to implement Article-140 is also in violation of the policy the Iraqi government announced in June 2006. The Iraqi Prime Minister then stated that “the government will be committed to implement Article-140 of the Constitution which is based on Article-58 of the ‘Law of Administration for the State of Iraq’, also known as the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL).
The Article specifies three phases for implementation that includes normalization, a census, and a referendum on Kirkuk and other disputed areas. The government was to start by taking appropriate steps for the normalization phase, including rejoining detached districts and sub-districts to Kirkuk governorate, and completing this phase no later than 29 March 2007. The census phase was to be completed by 31 July 2007, and the referendum phase by 15 November 2007. The overall question is, thus, why hasn't the Iraqi federal government met its commitments? Since 2003, successive Iraqi governments have failed to implement this constitutional article.
Following the 2003 war, the Kurdistan leadership took an active part in rebuilding a new Iraq, including participation in the process of drafting the country’s permanent constitution. The constitution, which was overwhelmingly approved in a countrywide referendum, recognized the Kurdistan Region as a federal region within a sovereign and independent Iraq.
Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani has repeatedly called for the implementation of Article-140 and has shown considerable flexibility in this regard. The President and other Iraqi Kurdistan authorities have so far agreed to repeated delays and postponements of this Article.
The Iraqi federal government has a legal and moral responsibility to implement this article and to allow the people of these areas to decide their future. The Kurdistan Region will not waiver in its efforts to see the status of these areas resolved peacefully through Article-140.
We do not intend to annex or control the so-called disputed areas, as repeatedly suggested by certain ill-informed media sources. We want the people of these areas to be presented with the opportunity to decide for themselves what they want.
The results of the recently held provincial elections have clearly demonstrated what the people of these areas really want. They overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Kurdistan List. Had the people of Kirkuk also been able to participate in the recent elections, the results would likely have been the same.
Iraqi parliament to hold regular session on Saturday
Saturday, 06 April 2013 09:18 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) -The Iraqi parliament will hold its regular session on Saturday to read and vote on a number of law drafts.
Source at the parliament told All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "The session's agenda includes the vote on the legality of Thamir Dhahir's membership and the vote on the law of condemning the mass grave crime in Najaf province as well as reading and voting on other law drafts."
Rafie al-Issawi: I will reveal in front of the reference files moral corruption toppled much of the big heads of government
05-04-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
BAGHDAD / Baghdadiya News
Detect and outgoing Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi possession You may reveal serious ethical scandals announced his intention to be delivered to the religious authority in Najaf.
Issawi said during hosted in program dialogue Iraqis on MBC Baghdadiya and submit colleague star-Rubaie said the current prime minister has become a threat to the future of Iraq must be replaced because it failed to steer the country in all respects, revealing that I "I will send files raises scandals moral front reference in Najaf am also confident that the files mentioned overthrown much of the big heads in the current government. "
Issawi said that "our battle is not with the component of the Iraqi people never we communicate with partners in Najaf as Mr. Muqtada al-Sadr and al-Hakim and others, as that Almchkh now confined to the Prime Minister and a group of his advisers."
He added that "provoke arrest warrants and investigation against me came on the same scenario, which targeted the Tareq al-Hashemi, was also timed after stirring files seven billion dollars and $ Alarbamih tan handed Melvathma to the Prime Minister, who did not take any action at all."
He said the intensification of security and provoke feelings of anxiety and fear among the general people that the Green Zone will strike and that Baghdad will be impenetrable comes under cover security failures that killed hundreds of people, explaining that "the bombings and the failure of security was the result of the failure of file management by the government."
He added that "the National Alliance is able to replace Maliki and we welcome any successful Bkieda initiative runs the country."
Gorran: ‘Without Elections Fraud We Would Be the Largest Party’
by RUDAW 15 hours ago
The Change Movement (Gorran) head of public relations, Muhammed Tofiq Rahim. Photo: Rudaw
Since its creation in 2009, the Change Movement (Gorran), the largest opposition party in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, has railed against corruption and an entrenched patronage system that it blames on ruling partners the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Gorran, which was mainly formed by disenchanted members who broke away from the PUK, has recently been warming to the KDP, at a time when the other ruling partner is facing an enormous challenge: The PUK’s leader Jalal Talabani, who is also Iraq’s president, has been absent from the scene since suffering an acute stroke in December. On the other hand, party insiders say there are behind-the-scenes moves to integrate Gorran back into the PUK.
One of Gorran’s pet gripes against the ruling partners is over the absence of elections: Local polls were indefinitely postponed in September last year; the three-province Kurdistan Region is staying out of local elections being held later this month in other parts of Iraq.
In this interview, Gorran’s head of public relations, Muhammed Tofiq Rahim, talks about the challenges facing his party, claiming that the movement is wildly popular in all of Iraqi Kurdistan, but remains stifled by the two ruling parties and their stranglehold on politics. Here is his interview:
Rudaw: Four years since its foundation, many people say that that there is no major difference between the Change Movement (Gorran) and the ruling parties. Is this true?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: How can one demonstrate the differences without being in power? We have presented a program, an agenda, and based on that people have voted for us. If we win the elections we will implement that agenda. Only when we implement our program can people see how different we are from the current ruling parties.
Only when we implement our program can people see how different we are from the current ruling parties.
Rudaw: But some claim that Gorran and PUK are two sides of the same coin.
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: We are different from all other political parties in all respects. Many of our activists came from the PUK, some are new in politics and some came from other political parties. However, it is not accurate to say Gorran is identical to PUK.
Rudaw: Is Gorran concerned about the absence of Jalal Talabani?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: Kurdish politicians holding positions in the federal government, including the post of Iraq’s president, have been unable to use their posts to serve Kurdish interests and solve the problems between Baghdad and Kurdistan.
Rudaw: Will Gorran’s relations with PUK remain the same as before Talabani was hospitalized?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: We hope the PUK continues to play the same role it did under Talabani, which was to bring Gorran and PUK closer.
Rudaw: PUK and Gorran officials constantly say they are close friends and have worked together for a long time. However, neither your leader Nawshirwan Mustafa, nor any other senior party official has visited him in hospital. Can you comment?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: We ask about Talabani’s health in our personal capacities. We hope he recovers as soon as possible.
Rudaw: Mustafa was to visit Turkey before the New Year, but he did not go. Why?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: That is an internal affair of Gorran. Whenever Gorran finds it suitable, the visit will take place.
Rudaw: Has Gorran agreed on a date for the party’s first convention?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: It will be held soon. However, I will not tell you when. Why should I tell you the date? This is an internal affair of Gorran. It might be held in a month, or two months.
The Kurds have to unite themselves. This cannot be done by meetings and speeches. This requires reform.
Rudaw: Why does Gorran not participate in the Duhok local elections? Is there an obstacle?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: Yes, there were obstacles. Being the opposition is not easy.
Rudaw: What are the obstacles?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: They include the firing of people from their jobs, imprisoning people, etc. However, now, due to the current conditions in the world and the Middle East, the situation might be a bit more suitable.
Rudaw: Critics say that Mr. Mustafa makes all party decisions alone. Is this true?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: Gorran’s decision-making mechanism is clear to everyone. We have the Gorran National Association, which is comprised of 50 members. The association meets before making decisions. Sometimes, to make decisions, views of more than 200 individuals are considered.
Rudaw: Is Gorran most popular in Sulaimani?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: If it was not for fraud, we would have been and will be the most popular everywhere.
Rudaw: Even in Erbil and Duhok?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: Yes, we would be the largest party even in Erbil and Duhok. If the elections were carried out without fraud, we would be the largest party everywhere. All of (Iraqi) Kurdistan’s cities and towns agree that change is needed, and they are against corruption. The Kurdistan Region will not be able to stand on its feet in its current situation.
Rudaw: What is Gorran’s suggestion to PUK after Talabani?
Muhammed Tofiq Rahim: We hope they can run the party without problems. If Talabani was in Baghdad now, he could probably pull some strings.
The Kurds have to unite themselves. This cannot be done by meetings and speeches. This requires reform. Gorran asks for reform, that is, to make the Kurds strong and able to stand against the problems. We do not want the Kurds to be used as proxy actors for this or that country, as is the case now.
Iraq PM softens tone on Turkey, says rapprochement welcome
BAGHDAD, April 5 | Fri Apr 5, 2013 11:37am EDT
(Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Friday he would welcome rapprochement withTurkey, softening months of hostile rhetoric fuelled by Ankara's engagement with Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.
Resource-hungry Turkey has antagonised Baghdad by courting Iraqi Kurds, who are at loggerheads with the central government over how to exploit the country's oil reserves and share the revenues.
Ankara and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been negotiating an energy deal ranging from exploration
to export since last year.
Officials and industry sources say there have been efforts behind the scenes to reconcile Baghdad and Ankara at the insistence of the United States, which fears a Turk-Kurd energy partnership could precipitate the break-up of Iraq.
"Iraq welcomes any step towards rapprochement with Turkey on the basis of shared interests, mutual respect and good-neighbourliness," Maliki said in a statement posted on his website.
Baghdad says it alone has the authority to control export of the world's fourth largest oil reserves, while the Kurds say their right to do so is enshrined in Iraq's federal constitution, drawn up following the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.
Kurdish crude used to flow through a Baghdad-controlled pipeline running from Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, but exports via that pipeline dried up last December due to a row over payment.
The KRG is now shipping small volumes of crude oil by truck to Turkey and is pressing ahead with plans to build its own export pipeline -- moves that have prompted Baghdad to accuse Ankara of complicity in "smuggling" Iraqi oil.
In an interview on Thursday, Turkey's energy minister suggested "a structure" whereby Ankara would play an active role in distributing Iraqi oil revenues fairly.
"We accept that any revenue that reaches any region of Iraq belongs to the whole of Iraq and this is also the correct thing," Taner Yildiz said. "With everything we do we have to pay attention to the sensitivities of the Iraqi central government."
Besides the spat over oil, Maliki and his Turkish counterpart have also traded barbs for inciting sectarian tensions and summoned each others' ambassadors in tit-for-tat manoeuvres.
"There are contacts," Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in the Kurdish region's city of Suleimaniyah in March.
Zebari said a meeting between Maliki and Turkish President Abdullah Gul had almost materialised in Cairo, but was scuppered at the last minute.
Asked whether improved relations between Ankara and Baghdad would come at Kurdistan's expense, Zebari said: "No ... as long as they are working and dealing within the Iraqi legal framework and constitution, it shouldn't be affected." (Reporting by Raheem Salman in Baghdad, Isabel Coles in Arbil; Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun in Ankara; editing by Mike Collett-White)
Iraqi PM wants continuation of relations with Turkey
6 April 2013, 01:27 (GMT+05:00)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al -Maliki said that he would be pleased to see bilateral relations with Turkey continue based on mutual respect, Anadolu Agency reported.
In a statement posted on his official web site, Prime Minister al -Maliki underlined that they welcomed every step which would get them closer toTurkey within the frame of mutual interests and mutual respect.
In a recent visit to Iraq, the US Secretary of State John Kerry had advised Prime Minister al-Maliki to improve relations with Turkey, according to certain sources
SLC MP describes majority government formation as unsuitable for situation in Iraq
Saturday, 06 April 2013 11:40 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) -MP Ihsan al-Awadi of the State of Law Coalition, described the formation of political majority government as unsuitable for the current situation in Iraq.
Awadi told All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "The situation in Iraq is not suitable to form political majority government or launching early elections unless the country is obliged to do that."
He stressed that "There is a clear political movement represented by visits of delegations to Erbil and some sides within the Iraqiya Slate," noting "A temporary breakthrough emerged for the current political crisis which gives hope for improving the political scene after it floundered over the past period."
Abbas al-Bayati, confirms that the National Alliance and the Kurdistan to have a desire to cross the crisis with minimal losses
06-04-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
BAGHDAD (Morning News)
MP for the coalition of state law, Abbas al-Bayati, "said the Kurdistan National coalitions to have a desire to cross the crisis with the least Alkhsaúrabr joint action to resolve and overcome the problems."
"The mutual reproach among friends and allies is essential to strengthen this alliance is no doubt that many efforts have been made to hold this meeting friends and associates and suggesting there is a common desire among the parties to cross the crisis with minimal losses."
Al-Bayati said that "the last meeting between the two sides in Arbil no doubt did not come from a vacuum, but preceded by contacts and assurances led to open this channel note that things did not reach the break but disappointment and reproach," noting that "the resumption of dialogue on contentious issues need to be resolved and meet directly."
"It was during the meeting to agree on the first two basic emphasis on the relationship between the parties and working together through the Constitution to resolve differences specific timetables." Explaining that "coalitions about the responsibility of both the political process and those who have sacrificed for it and they have a moral responsibility towards the other partners and they continue to absorb all the ingredients in a balanced manner."
BAGHDAD / NINA / Parliament session stared today 6, April, headed by Osama Nujaifi and the presence of 165 MPs.
The agenda of today's session includes the second reading of the draft law of protecting doctors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Labor laws. "
The session will also vote on the legality of the membership of the MP (Thamer Ibrahim Dhahir), and the vote on a resolution to condemn the crime of the mass graves in the area Al-Haidariya in Najaf. "
*** THIS ARTICLE IS POORLY CAPTIONED - THE CONTENT SAYS THAT M'S GOV'N IS COMMITTED BUT HAS NOT APPLIED ***
Kurdish MP: Maliki's government is not committed to the agreements concluded with the region.
BAGHDAD / NINA / MP, of the Kurdistan Alliance, Qassim Mohammed said "The government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is committed to the agreements concluded with the Kurdistan region, including Article 140, which was scheduled to be applied since 2007, but it has not applied yet."
His media office quoted him as saying today 6, April : "the Kurdistan Regional Government sent a message to the federal government included several demands, including emphasis on the principles of balance in government departments and government institutions and the existence of a serious partnership."
He added: "The reason for the political crisis between the two governments is to pass the budget law in parliament in the absence of the Kurdistan Alliance."
He explained: "This letter / did not clarify content / is considered as a reminder to the demands of the Kurds in order to preserve the unity of Iraq and its future," adding, "the recent talks with the National Alliance was fruitful and positive on the way to find appropriate solutions." / End
Iraqi judiciary investigates MPs, officials over arms deal with Russia, Ukraine
Saturday, 06 April 2013 13:18 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) -MP Aliya Nusaiyf, member of the parliament Integrity Committee, stressed summoning a number of MPs and officials by the judiciary to investigate them over the corruption suspicions accompanied the arms deal with Russia, Ukraine.
Nusaiyf told AIN on Saturday "The Iraqi judiciary started the investigation over this issue and summoned a number of officials and MPs to take their testimonies concerning this cause."
"The officials included in this issue are 17 from the Defense Ministry as being the side which has signed this deal as well as civil figures such as the President Advisor, Abdul Aziz al-Badri, MP Izat al-Shabander of the State of Law Coalition who was summoned some days ago, and the government spokesperson, Ali al-Dabbagh, besides other figures," she added.
Judicial source has told AIN on last Thursday that Karkh court has summoned Shabander to investigate him about the Iraqi arms deal with Russia and Ukraine.