Kurds reject proposal of Kurdish state
24/10/2011 16:35

Baghdad, Oct. 24 (AKnews) - The Kurdistan Blocs Coalition (KBC) rejected the proposal of Izzat Shabandar, a leader in the ruling State of Law Coalition (SLC), who called on the Kurds to found their own state.
KBC spokesman Muayyid Tayyeb said that these statements aim to put pressure on the Kurds and affect the bilateral relationship between the Kurdistan region and Baghdad.
"The Kurdish leaders are not thinking now of this issue and we chose to stay within a federal unified Iraq and we are very keen to implement the Constitution and respect the unity and sovereignty of Iraq," Tayyeb said.
On Saturday, Shabandar had suggested to found an independent Kurdish state and to put disputed areas under national control since "no satisfactory decision for both parties can be reached as far as the disputed areas are concerned."
The fate of the disputed areas -- cities and areas along the border between the Republic of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region -- is one of the main reasons for an ongoing argument between Erbil and Baghdad.
The debate about independence coincided with the arrival of a new delegation of Kurdish politicians in Baghdad for talks about outstanding issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Region government (KRG) today.
Besides that, the tensions between Baghdad and Erbil are sparked by a list of demands that the Kurds believe they are entitled to after they lent their support to Prime Minister al-Maliki after the last election: the integration of the Kurdish defense forces (the Peshmarga) into the Iraqi army, paid for by the Iraqi government; drafting a new hydrocarbon law; and the implementation of Article 140 into the Iraqi constitution -- which authorizes payments to Kurds who were forced from their homes under Saddam Hussein, a comprehensive census of ethnic groups and a referendum to decide if disputed areas should fall under the control of Kurdistan Regional Government.
Especially the recent incident, known as "Khanaqin flag order", sparked Kurdish-federal animosities.
Khanaqin administer Mohammed Mala Hasan, a Kurd, claimed that he had been handed a written order from Maliki to raise only Iraqi flags on government buildings and lower the Kurdish flag, the official flag of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) supported Hasan when he refused the order and referred to a previous agreement between Baghdad and Erbil after the U.S. invasion in 2003.
Government Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh tried to deny responsibility, saying the order was "carried out by the local government at an inappropriate time" and the dispute was sparked by "external political parties and powers".
KRG and Baghdad also fight over a new oil and gas law. The Kurds accused the federal government of passing a draft law without taking the Kurdish opinion into consideration.
On the other hand, Baghdad criticized Erbil for signing contracts with international oil companies without the consent of the federal Oil Ministry.
Last month, Maliki supposedly gave his approval for all Kurdish demands, except one to finance the Kurdish Army, or Peshmarga, as part of the federal defense budget, according to Aref Tayfur, second deputy speaker of parliament and member of the Kurdish Blocs Coalition.
However, this was not the long awaited solution for the dispute, since Tayfur also claimed that Maliki's only condition was that the demands were not contrary to the constitution. This has always been Maliki's standpoint.