Iraqi Kurdistan is ready for dialogue with Baghdad
In an interview with CNN, Minister of the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan Falah Mustafa Bakir said that his government never wanted war with the Iraqi army. The Minister stressed the readiness of his government to the peace dialogue and mutually beneficial solutions.
Iraqi Kurdistan has tried to smooth tensions with the Central government of Iraq, have arisen in recent years. “The necessary dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional government and Baghdad to reach an understanding,” said the foreign Minister of the Kurdistan regional government Falah Mustafa Bakir in an interview with CNN, adding that his government never wanted to join the military confrontation with the Iraqi army.
Earlier in the week Central government of Iraq without fighting praktieski established control over the city and province of Kirkuk, which were in the hands of the Kurdish militia. Unlike the nearby predominantly Kurdish Erbil and Sulaymaniyah included in Kurdistan, the population of oil-rich Kirkuk is not so homogeneous, so the control of Kurdish troops caused a lot of issues. Before the revolution of 1958, the majority in Kirkuk was ethnic group of Iraqi Turkmens (38%), Kurds was around 33%, and Arabs — 23%. In the years of independence of Iraq, and especially during the reign of Saddam Hussein, the Central government attempted arabization of Kirkuk, including through resettlement there of Arabs from Central regions of the country and oppression of Kurds and Turkmens until the expulsion or physical extermination. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Kurds began to return to Kirkuk, which is not officially part of the border of Iraqi Kurdistan. Since the city until recently was under the control of Kurdish militia, the Peshmerga, it held a referendum on Kurdish independence. This caused a sharp reaction of the Central Iraqi government, which sent in the early weeks of their units.
However, the Kurdish referendum was not supported by any Turkish or American governments. The U.S. Department of state urged Kurdish leaders to go through an alternative route, which involves a “serious and protracted dialogue” with the Central government of Iraq with the US, UN and other partners on all issues, including the future of relations between Erbil and Baghdad.
Experts believe that in the situation of Kirkuk, the US and other Western countries gave to understand Iraqi Kurds that do not support the confrontation with Baghdad. In an interview with The New York Times former state Department employee and expert on Iraq, David Philip, said that “Abadi (Prime Minister of Iraq Haidar Abadi.— “B”) would not have started this operation without informing US. At least, the U.S. could not know that such operation will take place”. Yesterday Germany announced that it is temporarily suspending its mission in Northern Iraq, in which the German military trained the Kurdish militias and supplied them with small arms. In Erbil is now about 130 military experts from Germany. “Coordinating our actions with the Ministry of foreign Affairs, we have decided to suspend our mission to not send anyone any signals that could be misinterpreted,” — said yesterday the Minister of defence of Germany Ursula von der Leyen.