MP: Kurds expect Maliki to resolve issue of disputed areas
BAGHDAD, Sept. 20 (AKnews) - Kurds expect Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take "practical steps" to end the file of the disputed areas between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said an Kurdish MP.
According to Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, a referendum should be held in the disputed areas to determine whether they administratively belong to the KRG or the federal government. The process was supposed to be completed by end of 2007.
Kurds accuse Baghdad government of not being serious by delaying the implementation of the constitutional article.
Mohsen al-Saadoun, the vice chairman of the Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC), said the government must implement the constitution and resolve this issue.
"We expect Maliki to announce soon something related to the application of the Article."
Article 140 covers Kirkuk province and areas in Nineveh, Diyala, and Salahaddin provinces. KRG says that these areas were deducted from the Kurdistan Region during the reign of the former regime and were affected by Arabization process which washed away the areas from the majority of its Kurdish residents.
About the recent agreement between Baghdad and Erbil about the Kurdistan Region's oil exports and payments of investing companies, Saadun said "we hope that this step will lead to passing the oil and gas law."
Baghdad and Erbil agreed last week to settle the oil export file after Baghdad pledged to pay the suspended dues of the oil companies operating in the region with the latter's commitment to pump oil to the government pipelines.