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 Kurdistan president visits Khanaqin, Iraqiya says Barzani's visit is “provocation”

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Kurdistan president visits Khanaqin, Iraqiya says Barzani's visit is “provocation”  24.9.2011  

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September 24, 2011

KHANAQIN, DIYALA, Iraq, — Iraqiya list in Diyala province stated on Thursday that the visit of Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani to Khanaqin District was provocative and disregarding to local protocols. Kurds are seeking to exploit US Forces withdrawal and the regional situation to annex disputed regions and declare their independent state, Iraqiya list argued. Barzani’s statements regarding Peshmerga forces in Jalwla and Saadia establish the roots of a civil war, the list cautioned.

“We welcome the visit of any Iraqi official to Diyala, however, the visit of Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani was provocative and disregarded local protocols,” said Iraqiya List media spokesman in Diyala Rassem Al Kuaidy. “Barazani’s visit took place without any coordination with the province’s administration,” he explained.

“Barazani acted as though Khanaqin District was part of Kurdistan region,” he also said.

“Barazani’s statements about the missions of Peshmerga forces in Jalwla and Saadia establish the roots of a civil war, because appointing security forces to protect a region and not another is very bad,” Al Kuaidi added. “These statements risk having serious implications on the local security and opens a way before extremists to disrupt security and internal stability,” he added.              
“Kurds are seeking to exploit US Forces withdrawal and the regional situation to annex disputed regions and declare their independent state,” said Al Kuaidy who is also the advisor for Diyala investment affairs. “Barazani’s visit to Khanaqin District and his statements push to accelerate control over disputed regions in Diyala,” he continued.

Al Kuaid called on Kurdish politicians not to spur a crisis that would damage all parties especially that disputed regions in Diyala are safe and secure. “Parties who seek to tear national unity apart will profit from any tensed statement to reach their goals,” he stressed. “Not a single Iraqi whether Arab,
www.ekurd.netKurd or Turkman would tolerate this,” he concluded.

Peshmarga forces will not withdraw till situation is stable, Barzani says

Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani confirmed on Thursday that Peshmerga forces will not withdraw from Khanaqin area until the situation is settled. Member of the Polit-bureau of the National Kurdish Party Mahmoud Sinkawi told Aswat al-Iraq that Barzani confirmed this point, in addition to discussing the services rendered to the citizens there. Barzani promised to develop the services in the disputed areas.

Kurdistan’s Peshmerga Ministry had spread its forces in Khanaqin city of Diyala Province, after the escalation of the Kurdish demands on both popular and official levels to protect Kurds in those areas,
www.ekurd.netconsidered among the areas in-conflict between Kurdistan government and the Federal government of Baghdad.

Diyala province, a restive part of Iraq outside the Kurdish autonomous region of Kurdistan but home to many Kurds. The Diyala district, which includes a string of villages and some of Iraq's oil reserves, is home to about 175,000 Kurds, most of them Shiites.

In June 2006, the local council of Khanaqin proposed that the district be integrated into the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

During the Arabisation policy of Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, a large number of Kurdish Shiites were displaced by force from Khanaqin. They started returning after the fall of Saddam in 2003.

Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is related to the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas like Khanaqin.

Kurdistan's government says oil-rich Khanaqin should be part of its semi-autonomous region, which it hopes to expand in a referendum in the future. In the meantime, Khanaqin and other so-called disputed areas remain targets of Sunni Arab insurgents opposed to Kurdish expansion and vowing to hold onto land seized during ex-dictator Saddam Hussein's efforts to "Arabize" the region.
  

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