Kurdistan Region Blames Baghdad for Collapse of Talks

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Talks between negotiators from the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad have collapsed, and Kurds are pointing the finger of blame at Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, writes Zaidan Rubaihi.

The office of the president of Iraqi Kurdistan threatened to repel what it described as dictatorship and militarism. Earlier, it issued a statement according to which the Baghdad government reneged on its obligations stipulated in the settlement agreement which was signed by the two parties.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reportedly refused to withdraw the troops from the disputed areas. Meanwhile, a Kurdish officer who took part in the negotiations said that Maliki’s generals withheld the negotiation details from him.

The office of the president of Iraqi Kurdistan issued a statement saying that "the meetings held between the Peshmerga delegation and the Iraqi armed forces commanders were initially constructive, but the Baghdad government reneged on its promises and commitments," noting that "all of the Kurdish parties agreed to repel dictatorship and militarism in Baghdad," according to the statement.

Officials close to the prime minister had expressed optimism about the initial agreement concluded between Iraqi army commanders and representatives of the Peshmerga regarding the deployment of joint forces in the disputed areas. However, Kurdish officers who participated in the talks said that the Maliki generals "withheld" the negotiation details from the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces [Maliki] for a full day, another issue requiring the Kurdish ministers to visit Baghdad.

A source that attended the Thursday [Nov. 29] evening meeting held by Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani and the Kurdish parties revealed that the Kurdish negotiation team informed Barzani of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's refusal to withdraw Iraqi troops from the disputed areas, stressing that Maliki, in turn, did not agree on the settlement of the Tigris operations. He pointed out that the meeting decided to keep the Peshmerga forces in these areas.

The source revealed that those at the meeting discussed the Kurds withdrawing from politics, but said that this move would be a last resort.

Earlier, Barzani held a meeting with the Kurdish parties — the second of its kind in a week — to discuss the current situation between the region and Baghdad.

President of the National Alliance Ibrahim Jaafari said earlier that he had discussions with representatives of political parties and Kurdish forces about the importance of resorting to the constitution to settle the existing problems. Meanwhile, Muhsin al-Sadoun, the Kurdistan Alliance Bloc MP, said that the Kurdish forces are seeking to rebuild trust between the Iraqi factions and enter a new phase based on the constitution.

Found in: peshmerga, kurdistan, kurdish-iraqi tensions
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