Barzani suggests Kirkuk issue to be resolved between Erbil and Baghdad

<p style="text-align: left;">Leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani said that the issues facing Kirkuk, including the selection of a new governor, should be resolved first between Erbil and Baghdad.

Barzani, who is the former president of the Kurdistan Region, said in a statement on Saturday, July 13, that the challenges facing the multi-ethnic, oil-rich province have &ldquo;historic and political&rdquo; significance that involve &ldquo;multiple dimensions.&rdquo;

Barzani added he agreed with the agreements reached between the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to normalize security and administrative arrangements in Kirkuk.

&ldquo;The issues, including governor, need to be resolved first between Erbil and Baghdad,&rdquo; the statement read.

&ldquo;Any result will have to be accepted by all the components of Kirkuk.&rdquo;

Barzani said a positive atmosphere had developed between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad and that meant that there may be a &ldquo;good opportunity&rdquo; to resolve the Kirkuk issue with Baghdad and to normalize Kirkuk under the framework of the Iraqi Constitution.

&ldquo;Because it is unacceptable to continue the current situation,&rdquo; he stated.

On Thursday, the KDP and PUK nominated engineer Tayib Jabar as their joint candidate for the position of Kirkuk governor.

Leader of the Turkmen Front in Kirkuk Arshad Salihi criticized the agreement, calling it &ldquo;unilateral.&rdquo;

The issue of Kirkuk had been a running sore between the Kurdistan Region's two largest parties, with each blaming the other for the city's fall to central government forces in October 2017 in the wake of the Region's independence referendum.

Reporter&rsquo;s code: 50101

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