Iraqi President Fuad Masoum held talks in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region on Sunday with a number of party leaders to pave the way for negotiations between Irbil and Baghdad.
A source from Masoum’s office told Asharq Al-Awsat that he will continue his consultations with all political powers in Kurdistan in order to prepare the conditions to launch the Baghdad-Irbil negotiations that will tackle the pending issues between the two sides.
The president’s talks are aimed at unifying stances on the formation of the Kurdish delegation that will head to Baghdad for the negotiations, it explained.
Masoum is expected to visit Irbil within two days in order to continue his consultations.
His talks in al-Sulaimaniya coincided with protests by hundreds of displaced Tuz Khurmatu residents against poor living conditions.
They called for meting the president in order to relay their demands to him and urge him to exert efforts with the federal Iraqi and Kurdish governments to ensure their return to their homes.
They raised posters condemning either governments’ silence over their living conditions and pleaded to the United Nations and foreign embassies in Iraq.
“We declare that the government and international community’s silence over the injustice against us is a blatant violation of all humanitarian laws. The regional government’s silence is no less unjust than than the violations committed against us by political forces,” the demonstrators said.
They stressed that after the Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization Forces seized their city, Turkmen mobilization forces set fire in dozens of their houses. They accused them of committing all forms of oppression and violence against the remaining Kurdish residents at a time when these same Kurds fought with Turkmen and Arabs against ISIS terrorists.
“It is odd that Tuz Khurmatu residents are being displaced by the same people that they defended,” said the protesters.
“We are here to deliver a message of peace to all sides and demand that the government facilitate our honorable return to our homes,” they urged.