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Iraqi Parties Welcome Kurdish Announcement, Abadi Anticipates Barzani's Stance

Iraqi Parties Welcome Kurdish Announcement, Abadi Anticipates Barzani's Stance

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 - 08:45
Iraq's Kurdistan region's President Massoud Barzani speaks during an interview with Reuters in Erbil, Iraq July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Despite political parties in Baghdad welcoming Iraqi Kurdistan government acceptance of the Federal Court interpretation, a source close to the Iraqi government affirmed that Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi doesn't rely on Kurdish stances by political figures other than Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani.

The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that “Abadi was asked about Barzani's positive stances and movements and so he replied: I want a clear response from Barzani, because he is still influential and is a game-changer in Iraqi Kurdistan.”

Earlier, the cabinet secretariat asked the Federal court for an interpretation of article one in the constitution, as part of its response on Iraqi Kurdistan referendum to separate from Iraq on Sep. 25. In the beginning of November, the court issued its interpretation that highlighted unity of Iraq by virtue of article 1.

Iraqi Kurdistan presidency announced on Tuesday that it “respects” the interpretation, and that this would be a foundation for a comprehensive national dialogue to resolve disputes through the full implementation of the constitution.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reiterated rejection to the referendum and expressed keenness on Iraq’s unity. He sent “implicit threats” to Iraqi Kurdistan as he called for returning to 2003 border. Abadi stressed that the Iraqi government will not run out of patience but it also wont remain patient for long.

Procedures will be taken and there is readiness to cooperate in all forms, stated Abadi.

Yet, the Kurdish acceptance of the Federal Court decision resulted in general comfort in Baghdad on the national and official levels since it provides a chance to resolve the aggravating crisis between Baghdad and Erbil.

Kamel al-Zaidi, a member of the State of Law Coalition, considered that Iraqi Kurdistan government acceptance of the court’s interpretation is a “good step.” Yet this step is insufficient and is ambiguous, Zaidi stated to Asharq Al-Awsat.

Zaidi saw that the Kurdish position needs to be more clear, “Kurds are required to announce aborting results of the referendum and fully abiding by the Iraqi constitution in order to reach a distinct accord with Baghdad.”

Abadi assigned a “secret” committee headed by “a high-rank political figure to negotiate with Kurds – negotiations are now in an advanced level, and one of the outcomes is acknowledging the court’s interpretation.”

In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, Fadi Al-Shammari, a member of the National Wisdom Movement, welcomed Kurdistan government acceptance of the Federal Court interpretation because “this pushes Baghdad-Erbil ties to a new stage and reveals the crisis Kurdistan government is undergoing.”

Shammari added, “Erbil's new stance represents an introduction to closing the referendum topic, and we think this will happen soon.”

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