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JULY 2022

Time for ‘Amicable Divorce’ between Iraqi Kurds & Baghdad Comes – Spokesperson for Kurdistan Government

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Iraqi Kurds believe that the time to discuss an “amicable divorce” with the country’s authorities has come.

Time for ‘Amicable Divorce’ between Iraqi Kurds & Baghdad Comes - Spokesperson for Kurdistan Government

Photo: AP

The time to start discussing an “amicable divorce” between the Iraqi authorities and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has come, the Hurriyet newspaper reported, citing spokesman for the KRG, Safeen Dizayee.

“We should enter a serious dialogue with Baghdad to reach an amicable solution – an amicable solution for divorce,” Dizayee told the newspaper. “We can be two good neighbors. This is something we want as the only way.”

The KRG spokesman noted that the principle of consensus, which was agreed by all the sides in 2003, is not more operative. “It is a majority-minority vote. So even if Kurds have 65 seats in Baghdad, we will always be the minority,” he said.

Dizayee also added that the KRG’s share in the budget has also been blocked by the central administration, stressing the fact that Kurds are always at the mercy of Baghdad, which provides no assistance for the Kurdish forces. “This is why we are looking to find another formula. Our budget has been cut; there is no assistance for the military. These show that we cannot work together. There is an Iraq before Mosul and post-Mosul. This is why we have to seek a solution for stability. The only way forward is to go for an independent entity in Iraqi Kurdistan,” the newspaper quoted his words.

The KRG spokesman stressed that the only way to achieve this target is a dialogue, as well as pointed out that the Kurdish government has no ambitions on territories of other states.

“We need to enter serious conversations first with Baghdad before anybody else,” Dizayee said. “Then hopefully with our other neighbors so that they do not see this newborn entity as a threat to their security and stability. We are talking about the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan alone. We have no ambitions of a territory in Iran, Syria and Turkey,” he added.

Speaking about Ankara’s position on this issue, Dizayee said that Iraqi Kurds “have to talk with Turkey,” which has always been opposing any sort of independent Kurdistan. He added that this issue has never been officially discussed with Turkey, and noted that the talks might be started after the referendum, which is scheduled on April 16.

The spokesman also said that there should not be any fears that the KRG’s possible independence could serve as an example for Syrian Kurds, as “they are totally different.”

“First, the Kurds’ progress in Iraq has been continuing almost uninterrupted since World War I in Iraq. We have a legal status as an autonomous region. The Kurdish leadership in Iraq has been received at the White House, Downing Street, Elysee and Bestepe [Ankara]. There is a de facto recognition. I do not think you can draw a parallel with the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] or Syrian Kurds,” Dizayee said.

He also called on Syrian Kurds “to be more realistic,” as well as urged the PKK “to be more pragmatic.” The KRG spokesman noted that he still saw a possibility for a peace process between the PKK and Turkey and added that KRG leader Massoud Barzani will be ready to contribute to this process, if all the sides “accept such a role.”

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