Basnews — ERBIL — Resolving the prolonged issues in Kirkuk and normalization of the situation in the Kurdish province need an agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi Federal Government, said prominent Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani.
“The issues in Kirkuk are not only the disputes between two parties or disagreements between some political sides, but they are historic and political disputes with multiple dimensions,” Barzani said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) reached an agreement to nominate a Kurdish figure for the post of Kirkuk government.
The position has been filled by Baghdad since October 2017 when the Iraqi government overran Kirkuk and ousted the Kurdish governor and the Peshmerga forces in retaliation for the 2017’s independence referendum in Kurdistan.
Barzani noted in his statement that the agreement between the KDP and PUK was a major step towards normalization of the situation in Kirkuk, but it fundamentally requires an Erbil-Baghdad agreement over the entirety of the issues, including the Kirkuk governor post.
“Any conclusion must be accepted by all the components of Kirkuk,” the Kurdish leader, who also is the president of the KDP, said.
He noted that the current “positive” atmosphere in the relations between Erbil and Baghdad can be seized as an opportunity to find a solution to the administrative and security issues in Kirkuk within the framework of the Constitution.
“We will not compromise on the Kurdish identity of Kirkuk at all, and we insist on making Kirkuk the symbol of coexistence between all ethnic and religious components where they can live in peace,” the statement concluded.