Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, rejected on Wednesday what the President of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, announced on the application of Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, which provides the resolution of the disputed areas between Baghdad and Erbil.
Al-Maliki said in his weekly televised speech that Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution was not resolved yet, and Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) intervention in Kirkuk is “unacceptable”, pointing out that “those areas will return (to the Iraqi army) beside the weapons which were seized by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces after controlling Kirkuk”.
“I warn the oppressed Kurdish people that these behaviours will put them in a maze with no way. There is nothing called the right to self-determination in the Iraqi Constitution, and the Kurds have chosen to live in a unified Iraq,” al-Maliki said. “If they wanted so, the Constitution must first be amended by the Iraqi people”.
“We cannot resolve the issues through exploiting the current situation; we do not accept this, and the Kurdish people also do not accept. Let us sit and dialogue to resolve the outstanding issues between us,” al-Maliki said.
Commenting on al-Maliki’s statements, Djawar Ibrahim, a journalist based in Erbil, told ARA News that al-Maliki must regain what the Islamic State (previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ‘ISIL’) seized of areas and weapons, “only then he has the right to talk about Article 140 and Kirkuk”.
Ibrahim pointed out that President Massoud Barzani’s decision of adopting a referendum regarding the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan “is approved and legal within the Iraqi constitution”.
“I think that al-Maliki will be able to regain control of those disputed areas only through external military intervention,” Ibrahim said.
The president of Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Massoud Barzani, had said during the press conference with William Hague, the British Foreign Minister last Sunday that “Article 140 has been implemented, and is over by now. It will not be discussed anymore”.
Reporting by: Azad Jamkari
Source: ARA News
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