President Barzani’s Chief of Staff: As Maliki Prepares For War, Kurds Prepare For Self-defense.
11/12/2012 04:42:00RUDAW EXCLUSIVE
Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff of Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani. Photo: Rudaw.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- With war drums beating over the tense stand-off between Iraqi and Kurdish troops in the disputed territories that are claimed both by Baghdad and Erbil, the chief of staff of Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani tells Rudaw that the Kurds do not want conflict, but have “prepared for a war, in case it happens.” He adds that, “Hundreds of dialogues and negotiations are still better than one hour of fighting.”
Rudaw: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, is taking stronger positions against Kurds day after day, but the Kurds insist on negotiations. What is the reason behind this soft policy of the Kurds?
Fuad Hussein: Kurdish soft policy is not a result of weakness, but rather from the belief that problems can be solved through negotiations. However, Kurds also have prepared for a war, in case it happens.
Rudaw: Is Maliki willing to solve the problems through negotiations?
Fuad Hussein: We have had many negotiations with Maliki, and signed many agreements. But the problem is that he does not abide by the agreements. What is clear is that Maliki is preparing for war. When he prepares for war, the Kurds have the right to prepare for self-defense.
Rudaw: Will the Kurds continue on this policy while Maliki keeps deploying more and more troops near the border?
Fuad Hussein: Maliki has mobilized his army units, and we have sent our Peshmarga forces. But this situation cannot continue. This situation cannot be tolerated by the Iraqi constitution or Iraq’s current circumstances.
Rudaw: Do you think the Kurds will run out of patience?
Fuad Hussein: Hundreds of dialogues and negotiations are still better than one hour of fighting. The doors to dialogue must remain open until the very last moment. However, if war is knocking on your door, you have to be prepared for it. And this is what the Kurdistan people have been doing. The Kurdistan Region president has sent many delegations to Baghdad, and as we speak, we have one on the way to Baghdad. In the meantime, the Kurds are prepared to defend Kurdistan and its people.
“We have had many negotiations with Maliki, and signed many agreements. But the problem is that he does not abide by the agreements.”Rudaw: You attempted in the past to remove Maliki from office. But now that Maliki is taking a hostile position against the Kurds, you are not trying to remove him. Does this show a Kurdish weakness?
Fuad Hussein: We are sure that Maliki sees himself as strong. But in fact he is not. That is because even among his own coalition the Sadrists publicly stand against his policies. Among the Shias, there is much opposition to Maliki's policies. Iraqi relations with the neighboring countries are not in a good shape at all. So where is Maliki's strength? Despite all these however, we have to insist on negotiations and dialogue. The strength of any party is only determined on the battlefield.
Rudaw: Maliki claims that a war will not affect Baghdad, Karbala, or Najaf, implying that only the Kurds will lose.
Fuad Hussein: If a war starts, it will affect all of Iraq equally. But the war will not be an Arab-Kurdish war. I don’t know how Maliki can claim to be representing all the Arabs. Because the Maliki I know, was not such an Arab patriot. He is more concerned with Islamism; even his party has been a more Islamist party than Arab nationalist. Now that he is trying to project himself as an Arab nationalist, he is diverting from his very own principles! He is standing against his own beliefs.
Rudaw: So since the Kurds, the Sunnis and some Shias are against Maliki's policies, why is another attempt to remove him from office not initiated?
Fuad Hussein: Withdrawing confidence from someone in office is a democratic process, and everybody is subject to a potential withdrawal of confidence. However, to withdraw confidence some parliamentary and legal work has to be done. It seems the work is not done yet.
Rudaw: What was the Iraqi Parliament speaker's message to the Kurds?
Fuad Hussein: The Iraqi parliamentary speaker visited Kurdistan twice for the same purpose. In both of his visits Osama Nujeifi said Maliki wants a return to an earlier agreement about the armed forces in the disputed areas, and to have the police run the security of the cities. But we had some questions about this demand. What army units will be withdrawn from the disputed areas? Where will they go from there? Who will the police forces report to, the governor or Maliki's office? If it is the latter, then this agreement will not work. Therefore, we have to know the exact mechanism and what is meant by withdrawing from the disputed territories? The Dijla Forces have also to be annulled. Maliki has created a very strange situation. The Kurds are not fond of war. They are fond of peace and life, but if they have to fight they are not afraid to fight.
Rudaw: Have Kurds asked for the interference of a third party, the Americans for example, or any other party?
Fuad Hussein: There is no third party. We have to be realistic about this. Before, there was the US army. Now, there is no US army. The UN cannot come to the area. At the end of the day, we have to come to an agreement among ourselves, and solve the problems. However, the Iraqi army is equipped with American weapons and trained by the Americans, and this will morally obligate America to interfere. The Kurdistan Region will discuss this with the US authorities.
Rudaw: Some local media outlets in Kurdistan claimed that President Barzani had agreed, after his second meeting with Nujeifi, to withdraw the Peshmarga forces from the disputed territories without the dissolution of the Dijla forces. Is this true?
Fuad Hussein: Nujeifi had a number of proposals. President Barzani told him that if the Iraqi authorities are willing to negotiate on the problems, we are ready to solve this problem through dialogue. And regarding the withdrawal of the Peshmarga forces before abolishment of the Dijla forces, it is not true. I do not know how any media outlet can make such a claim.
Rudaw: In what circumstances will the Peshmarga withdraw from the disputed territories?
Fuad Hussein: This depends on the negotiations. Maliki has mobilized the army to solve a political issue, and this is unconstitutional. We cannot have another militarized Iraq. Iraq must not fall into the hands of the generals again.
“The Kurds are not fond of war. They are fond of peace and life, but if they have to fight they are not afraid to fight.”
Rudaw: How do the Kurds address the issue of the border with Maliki? Maliki says that the Kurds must withdraw to the pre-2003 (borders).
Fuad Hussein: If this is what Maliki believes, then he does not recognize the constitutional Article 140. According to this article, there are some disputed areas between Kurdistan and Iraq and these areas are to be run jointly until a referendum is carried out and the people of the area decide for themselves. This matter cannot be solved by a political decision from Baghdad. In practice, Maliki is working against the constitution and is sending army units to the disputed areas. He has even changed the name of the disputed areas to "mixed areas." According to the constitution these areas are disputed areas. The border of the Kurdistan Region will be determined by the referendum that article 140 has prescribed.
Rudaw: But Maliki is obviously not implementing Article 140 and he is mobilizing the army in the area. Will there be war?
Fuad Hussein: We are asking God to keep war away from all of us. War might sound easy in words. However, if a war is imposed on us, we are confident in the Peshmarga forces. The Peshmarga commanders have researched a possible war with Iraq and are certain that they can defeat Iraq.
Rudaw: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has returned to Baghdad. Did he return to his regular post as president or does he intend to calm the situation?
Fuad Hussein: Talabani's job is to protect the constitution. When he saw the constitution is breached, he went back to Baghdad. As the president of Iraq, Talabani is trying to preserve the constitution and Maliki has to respect the constitution.
Rudaw: What do the Americans say about the recent developments?
Fuad Hussein: The Americans are very concerned about the situation. They do not want the situation to worsen. They talked to us and to the officials in Baghdad.
Rudaw: Did they offer any solution? Did they put any pressure on the Kurds?
Fuad Hussein: America has been supporting the 2009 agreement from the very beginning. That is because the whole idea of forming joint forces in the disputed territories was the idea of the Americans. America does not pressure the Kurds to withdraw the Peshmarga forces. But they ask both sides to return to the pre-2009 agreement. They do not like to see the Iraqi army and Peshmarga forces pointing their weapons at each other.
Rudaw: Last week Qasim Soleimani (the commander of Iran’s Qods Forces) came to Erbil and met with President Barzani and Talabani. Why did he come to Erbil?
“The Americans do not like to see the Iraqi army and Peshmarga forces pointing their weapons at each other.”
Fuad Hussein: This problem we are dealing with is a big problem. The neighboring countries are concerned, particularly Iran. Maliki intends to use arms. This will create problems for the whole region. So Iran is upset with this problem and Maliki's attitudes.
Rudaw: Can Iran pressure Maliki to calm the situation down?
Fuad Hussein: We have discussed this problem with Iran. And, yes Iran can pressure Maliki.
Rudaw: Iranian President Mahmood Ahmedinejad is expected to visit Baghdad. Will he visit the Kurdistan Region too?
Fuad Hussein: He was expected to visit Baghdad. Had he visited Baghdad, he would have visited Kurdistan as well.
Rudaw: Kurdistan’s political parties and Kurdistan’s president sent letters to Iraq’s Shia parties. What was their response?
Fuad Hussein: I think the Shia parties were very happy with the letters. They received the president's letter very positively. The letters were very influential.
Rudaw: Has Maliki tried to divide the Kurds among themselves?
Fuad Hussein: Malikis has been very much hoping for that. But his hopes have not been realistic. He was disillusioned by many analysts and was fed wrong information. Maliki was convinced that if he ran for office in Erbil he would win over all the other possible candidates! However, Maliki has to know that he is fighting for his seat, but the Kurds for their land. He has a seat, the Kurds have their land. If you are situated on your land, you will not fall off, but on a seat, you may very well fall off.
IS MP describes Barzani's visit to Kirkuk as "Provocative" Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:19 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –MP, Omer al-Jobouri, of the Iraqiya Slate described the visit of the President of Kurdistan Region to Kirkuk province as "A provocative and an announcement to the beginning of wars."
Speaking to All Iraqi News Agency (AIN), he said "Barzani's visit to Kirkuk is dangerous and provocative where it announces the beginning of the war and does not show respect to the constitution and the federal government."
"This visit is a negative message to the mediators to settle the crisis such as the parliament Speaker, Osama al-Nijaifi where Barzani has to allow them to achieve the settlement of the current crisis," he added.
"Such action is provocative to the Arabic community in Kirkuk province because it coincides with the crisis between KR and the Central Government," he pointed out, calling "The CG to reply to such actions."
Earlier, Barzani visited Kirkuk province on Monday where he met the Peshmerga forces there.
Kuwait, Iraq to bury hatchet over Port Mubarak Posted: December 11, 2012 in Iraqi Dinar/Politics
Tags: Arab, Baghdad, Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, Hosni Mubarak, Iraq, Japan, kuwait, middle east
Kuwait, Iraq bury hatchet over Mubarak Al*Kabeer port * Al* Jarallah
KUWAIT, Dec 10 (KUNA) ** Kuwait and Iraq have ended the dispute over Mubarak Al*Kabeer Port and ushered in a phase of “wonderful understanding over this issue”, Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al*Jarallah said here Monday
The State of Kuwait and the brotherly Republic of Iraq have closed the” chapter of the question over Mubarak Al*Kabeer Port, and entered into a stage of wonderful understanding over this issue,” he told reporters following a ceremony by the Japanese Embassy in Kuwait to mark Japan’s National Day
On the Arab peace initiative, he said: “The initiative still act as a basis for a peaceful settlement to the Arab*Israeli conflict.” But, he called for more pressure to be exerted on Israel to comply with the initiative
On GCC Secretary General Abdulatif Al*Zayani’s acceptance of the Syrian National Coalition’s request to send an ambassador to the GCC member states, he said: “It is a normal development. The coalition will have a single representative to the GCC.”
He dismissed reports that UN*Arab Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission has failed to find a solution to the Syrian crisis
On Kuwaiti*Japanese relations, Al*Jarallah said Kuwait and Tokyo have distinguished and historical relations, pointing to high*level visits between both sides
In this context, he lauded the successful and historic visit by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al*Ahmad Al*Jaber Al*Sabah to Japan this year
HH the Amir’s visit has pushed Kuwaiti*Japanese relations to high and developed horizons,” he said”
He also recalled to memory Japan’s bountiful contribution of USD 13 billion for the liberation of Kuwait, in addition to its participation in post*invasion environmental cleaning
Comparatively, Al*Jarallah pointed to Kuwait’s contribution to reconstruction efforts in quake*hit areas in Japan
Kuwait PM: Future generations in Iraq should not be punished for the acts of the former regime; Need to forget the act of Iraq’s former regime Posted: December 11, 2012 in Iraqi Dinar/Politics
Tags: Iraq, Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwaiti, List of Prime Ministers of Kuwait, Politics of Iraq, United Nation
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 9, (KUNA): HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on Sunday received a delegation of Kuwaiti senior journalists, who had earlier visited Iraq, and a group of visiting Iraqi counterparts.
The prime minister was briefed on the visit of the Kuwaiti group of local chief editors of printed media – headed by President of Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) Ahmad Behbehani – and their meetings with top Iraqi officials.
On his own upcoming visit to Iraq, he expected it to be marked by “positive and tangible steps” on issues related to the economy as well as closing pending issues between the two countries.
“Future generations should not be found guilty for the acts and crimes committed by the brutal former regime, during a period that has passed and one that we wish to leave behind,” he said.
He went on to express the new Kuwaiti government’s keenness in cooperating on anything that could allow Iraq to relieve itself off of the UN charter’s article seven according to diplomatic channels and international resolutions set forth by the United Nations, at the same time, expressing his appreciation of the Iraqi government’s efforts in cooperating on the matter.
He also stressed the government’s support of the private sector, in any attempts to invest in Iraq and opening up new channels for trade exchange with Iraqi companies for the greater benefit of both nations.
Separately, he expressed optimism over the results of the recently-held National Assembly elections, describing the new Parliament set-up as “providing positive signs for cooperation with the government through laws and legislation that benefit the nation and the people.” He said that there were no excuses for any obstacles in the path of the country’s development, expressing hope the Parliament would focus on “accomplishments” rather than “lectures” at Abdallah Al-Salem Hall.
He also denied there being any reservations on candidates for his eventual Cabinet formation, while underlining his respect of all opinions.
Kurdistan Alliance: Barzani's visit to Kirkuk was as commander of the armed forces in the region. 11/12/2012 08:44:00
BAGHDAD / NINA / Kurdistan Alliance said that the visit of the President of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani to the province of Kirkuk was as commander of the armed forces in the region and his inspection to the Peshmerga forces did not aim escalation in the current crisis.
Mo'aid al-Tayyib, the spokesman of the Kurdistan Alliance told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / that "The escalation is not by the visit of the leader the field, because the province wants to resolve the crisis through agreement and does not want escalation, particularly through the acceptance of House Speaker's initiative and its responsiveness with it, but the central government did not give an answer indicates to its seriousness in ending the tension in the disputed territories."
He added that "Barzani confirmed, during his visit to Kirkuk, that Kurds' faith in the peaceful solution and constructive dialogue and we did not speak in language of war or escalation," stressed that "the Peshmerga force is defense force and in its history did not attack government forces and will not offend anyone."
The head of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani said, during his meeting with the Peshmerga forces stationed in Kirkuk province in Lelan that the Kurds, throughout history were against wars, "stressing that" the Kurdistan people have made great sacrifices to get to this day."
Nijaifi visits Diyala province Tuesday, 11 December 2012 09:20 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –The parliament Speaker, Osama al-Nijaifi, visited Diyala province where he met the Governor of Diyala, Omer al-Hamiri, the head of Diyala Provincial Council, the members of Diyala PC and some local officials.
A statement by Nijaifi's office received by AIN cited "Nijaifi, accompanied by the Finance Minister, Rafea al-Esawi and some MPs, visited Diyala province to be acquainted with the services provided in the province."
"Nijaifi met some of the citizens and chieftains of Diyala where he discussed with them the problems that the province is facing," the statement added.
"Nijaifi promised the citizens to discuss their problem and provide the solutions as soon as possible," the statement concluded.
Allaq, representative of World Bank discuss Strategy of National Partnership
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:49 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –The Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, Ali al-Allaq, discussed with the Representative of the World bank, Marie Helen, the Strategy of the National Partnership between Iraq and the World Bank.
A statement by the Secretariat of the CoM received by AIN cited "The Strategy includes some projects that will be performed by the World Bank in the economic, health, educational and service fields."
"The Strategy to provide the consultations for Iraq in all the fields," the statement added.
"The meeting has also discussed the possibility of reviewing the projects within the strategy, in the meetings of the CoM," the statement concluded.
Albzona: approving the budget may be delayed for the first months of next year and political deals are resolved Tuesday, 11 December, 1/2012 08:38 | : Ambassador News | | |
Likely independent MP Jawad Albzna approval of the budget in 2013 political deal with the passing of bills is still a matter of dispute between the blocs, "without reference to it."
He said that "the federal budget for the year 2013 will not pass through this year and possibly continue the dispute around the very first months of next year, due to the lack of final accounts."
He Albzona that "some of the blocks have had requests in the budget did not materialize, such as claims deputies Basra province, because it's economic capital of Iraq by adding financial allocations have to lift remnants of war and the establishment of water purification plants, due to salinity, Basra, and there legitimate demands of many of the provinces" .
"As the Kurdistan Alliance calls for an increase of the budget of the Peshmerga forces, as well as claims to reduce the province's budget to less than [17%]."
The Council of Ministers has approved the draft budget for 2013, which amounted to 138 trillion dinars in 23 of last October, now the House of Representatives continues to debate a bill the state budget for 2013.
The number of deputies from the coalition of state law students to reduce the share of the Kurdistan region of the financial budget for 2013, in what was described Kurdish these claims as falling within the history and political differences between the governments of the center and the province.
The KRG receives 17 percent of the budget for the fiscal Iraq, at a time when demand increases.
He called the President of the Kurdistan region Massoud Barzani on the fifth of last September not to use the region's share in the budget as leverage or to resort to the use of force to address the problems, stressing not to allow looting freedom of the region. He said.
Iraq gathers international support to exit CH VII; Sources suggest Iraq still has remaining issues in area of border maintenance Posted: December 11, 2012 in Iraqi Dinar/Politics
Tags: Ban Ki-Moon, Chapter VII, Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq, kuwait, United Nation, United Nations Secretary General
Kuwait to Iraq: helping the world to help you get out of Chapter VII
Laila Al-Sarraf said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in a statement that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to support Iraq out of Chapter VII.
He said «that his country is committed bilaterally or through the United Nations mission (UNAMI) continue to search for missing persons and property through bilateral cooperation with Kuwait.
but diplomatic sources high-level responded to the Iraqi position new old saying: «ball in the playground of Iraq, we have stated repeatedly not way for Iraq to get out of the consequences of Chapter VII only through commitment to international resolutions ».
sources confirmed that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon face tough message to Iraqi officials and asked them to need to move the actual folding outstanding issues between the two countries, and that the stalemate situation Iraqi-Kuwaiti but hurt Iraq first and foremost. ,
the sources said Kuwait briefed Ban Ki-moon on the executive steps taken by the Government, particularly the decree should be on the settlement of the dispute between Kuwait Airways and Iraqi forces, and that Kuwait is committed to the farthest limits to help Iraq, but some Iraqi officials break the cycle of speech to the Execution Department to assist the Security Council to help Iraq out of the consequences of Chapter VII.
asked Qabas sources for the most prominent issues that did not move physically Iraq towards her, she said: «All technical arrangements and financial implemented to complete the maintenance of border markers and so far has not been decided this file».
The sources added: As he was handed all the amounts of compensation to Iraqi farmers who claim they were affected by maintenance of border signs, why not resolved and recognizes these amounts in order to embark on the process of maintenance?!
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has confirmed in a statement that Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met with Ambassadors from the five permanent members and asked them to support Iraq out of Chapter VII to Chapter Six.
The statement said that the minister reviewed the efforts Iraq out of Chapter VII in the areas of disarmament and weapons of mass destruction and the penal system and the siege and oil for food program, stressing that the rest of the international resolutions concerning the situation between Iraq and Kuwait.
minister called the five countries to support Iraq’s request to get out of the provisions of Chapter VII on the termination of the mandate of the Special Coordinator for missing Kuwaiti property and transfer the file from Chapter VII to Chapter VI.
said Zebari said his country «is committed bilaterally or through the United Nations mission ( UNAMI) to continue research and reveal what remains of missing persons and property through bilateral cooperation and the field with Kuwait sister ».
also confirmed Iraq’s desire to fulfill all its international obligations towards the Security Council and his keenness to maintain the national interests of Iraq. situation with Iraq is not resolved bilaterally diplomatic sources that Kuwait cooperate to the fullest extent to help Iraq out of Chapter VII, but they implement international resolutions, and said «our goods belonging to the United Nations, and nothing solves bilaterally in regard to the situation with Iraq.