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 Kurdistan president's spokesman says Iraq PM for 'militarisation'

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Kurdistan president's spokesman says Iraq PM for 'militarisation'  17.7.2012 

Omed Sabah, the spokesman for Iraq's Kurdistan regional president. Photo: UKS See Related Links
July 17, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The spokesman for Iraq's Kurdistan regional president sharply criticised national premier Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday for allegedly militarising Iraqi society and using violence for political ends, AFP reported.

Omed Sabah's remarks come with relations between the federal government in Baghdad and Kurdish authorities in Erbil at a low ebb over multiple festering disputes, and with Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani having supported efforts to pass a no-confidence motion against Maliki.

In a statement, Sabah said the Iraqi premier had "plans for the militarisation of Iraqi society and supports the option of violence as a means to reach political aims."

He added that there was "no doubt that he is going deeper and further with practices that are contrary to the simplest democratic values and principles of partnership."

Iraq has agreed to acquire American military equipment worth more than $10 billion, including 36 F-16 warplanes which are not expected to be delivered for years, but also tanks, artillery, helicopters and patrol boats.

The F-16 deal has raised alarm bells in the northern Kurdistan region, with Barzani saying earlier this year he was opposed to the sale of the warplanes while Maliki was premier,www.ekurd.net fearing they would be used against Kurdistan.

He later tempered those remarks, but regional premier Nechirvan Barzani, the president's nephew, warned in May of the continued desire for "ethnic cleansing" from Iraqi politicians, though he did not specifically point the finger.

Baghdad and Arbil are also at odds over Kurdistan's refusal to seek approval from the central government for oil contracts it has awarded to foreign firms, and over a swathe of disputed territory in north Iraq.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, AFP


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