Kurdistan Regional Government
FRI, 24 NOV 2017 12:27 Erbil, GMT +3

KRG replies to Iraqi Government Statement

SUN, 15 OCT 2017 23:29 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) - The Iraq Prime Minister’s Media Office issued a statement on Sunday in the wake of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s meeting with the Federal Ministerial National Security Council. The statement accused the Kurdistan Region of massing troops to threaten Kirkuk areas, bringing the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK, fighters into Kirkuk areas, and preventing the internally displaced persons in these areas, who fled ISIS, from returning to their homes.

It alleged that the Referendum was conducted to promote the partisan interests of one side. The statement also included threats against the Kurdistan Region.

In response, Kurdistan Regional Government Spokesperson Safeen Dizayee clarified on the KRG website that, “The party that threatens the use of force against Kurdistan and sets deadlines for the Peshmerga Forces to withdraw from areas it defended and liberated from the savagery of ISIS when Iraqi forces withdrew is the Iraqi government and Popular Mobilization Forces, not the Kurdistan Region."

Mr. Dizayee added, “More than ninety two percent of the voters in Kurdistan voted yes in the referendum, which was conducted in a democratic and peaceful manner. It reflected the aspiration of all the people of Iraqi Kurdistan, with all their communities and political tendencies, and not just of one political party, as the Iraqi government alleges.”

Regarding allegations of positioning PKK in Kirkuk, Mr. Dizayee said, "Actually it was the Iraqi government who, in the past two years, has been supporting PKK forces, or under any other name, in Iraq including in Kirkuk and Sinjar areas. It was the Iraqi Government who allowed the PKK to open an office in Baghdad and assisted them. Raising the PKK issue in this way at this time is a political manoeuvre to provoke Turkey, who is very sensitive to this issue."

Regarding preventing IDPs from returning to their homes, Mr. Dizayee noted, “It looks like the Iraq Prime Minister and the Iraqi government forgot the fact that about a million and a half Iraqi IDPs chose the Kurdistan Region as a safe haven to escape to, and not other parts of Iraq under their authority. The KRG welcomed the IDPs, and provided accommodation and other basic assistance. It is not the KRG’s fault that they prefer to remain in the Kurdistan Region as they have no trust in the Iraqi government. If they desire to return, the KRG will provide all the facilities for that.”

Regarding the areas related to Article 140 of the federal constitution, and where the Peshmerga forces are positioned, Mr. Dizayee elaborated that the KRG sent Peshmerga forces “to protect those areas at the request of the Iraqi Government when Iraqi security forces rapidly abandoned them in the face of the 2014 ISIS onslaught. The Iraqi government's threat to use force to control these areas is a threat to security and peace. The only way forward is to resort to negotiations and mutual-understanding in order to settle all the outstanding issues. We reiterate that the KRG is ready for that.”