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Kurdish parties meet in Kirkuk, agree on joint strategy

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Kurdish parties meet in Kirkuk, agree on joint strategy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:31 am

Kurdish parties meet in Kirkuk, agree on joint strategy

Kurdish members of Kirkuk’s provincial council met in the city on Tuesday in a first step towards restoring the administrative body that has been defunct since Iraqi forces took control of the disputed area last October.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) also attended the meeting, returning to the city for the first time nearly a year. The party considered Kirkuk “occupied” by Iraqi forces.

Gathering at the Kurdistan Communist Party office in the Qara Hanjir district of western Kirkuk, the parties decided to continue having regular meetings and develop a unified stance to represent the Kurdish population during upcoming provincial elections and in the face of renewed Arabization.

“Kurdish parties believe in peaceful coexistence of ethnic groups in Kirkuk, and Kurds who are the main component of the province shall not be marginalized in terms of military and civil rule,” read a joint statement issued by the parties after their meeting.

There are numerous reports that the Baathist-era policy of Arabization was renewed under acting governor Rakan al-Jabouri, a Sunni Arab appointed to the post by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last October after the Kurdish governor was ousted.

A PUK official denounced the government of Jabouri.

“What Rakan Jabouri is doing pure Arabization and his administrative role is not positive. This is a good opportunity to respond to all those who even think about Arabization in Kirkuk, not just Rakan Jabouri,” Rawand Mala Mahmood, deputy head of PUK Kirkuk office said in a press conference.

The Kurdish parties said they would also discuss a possible joint list for provincial elections scheduled for December 22.

The vote will take place in Kirkuk for the first time in 13 years.

Due to rivalries between Turkmen and Arabs on one hand and Kurds on the other, provincial elections have not taken place in the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk since 2005.

The KDP’s Mohammed Khorshid was cautiously optimistic about the meeting and decisions, saying they will proceed one step at a time.

“We will try to begin with simple points in meetings so that the difficult points are implemented later,” he told reporters.
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Kurdish parties meet in Kirkuk, agree on joint strategy



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