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[casi-analysis] Constitution, etc.

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Sistani's disagreements with the US over election plans/timetables have
been covered fairly well by the media (e.g. Steven Weisman's article in
yesterday's New York Times[16]). However, I haven't seen much about the
other current debates over the constitution and transfer of power. The
hottest argument at the moment seems to be over what form of federalism to
impose (there's also debate over who will control Mosul and Kirkuk, but I
haven't been following this very closely).

The federation issue is something which divides Kurdish groups from the
rest of Iraq, and especially from neighbouring countries. The views of the
KDP/Barzani and PUK/Talabani are similar: they want a federation based on
ethnic and territorial divisions. The basic difference between this
position and that of other groups is the distinction between 'federation'
and 'federation of provinces'. In Barzani's words, "The entire Kurdish
people reject the federation of provinces because this formula dashes the
Kurdish people's hopes and aspirations, squanders all their sacrifices, and
takes the Kurdish cause backward 40 years". [3] His objection is to the
idea of dividing Iraq into many provinces, and hence dividing Kurdish
areas. According to a KDP meeting on Jan 5th, "this type of administrative
federalism would not realize the wishes of the Kurdish people, which
necessitates a voluntary unity between the Kurdish region, as a geographic,
populace and political region, on the one hand, and the other region or
regions of Iraq, on the other hand." [4]

The Kurds are almost entirely isolated on the issue, and think they're
going to lose out (according to Barzani, "there are serious fears following
the emergence of signs of a backing down on promises and previous
agreements".[3]) What consensus there is among other groups centres on an
18-province federation (that is, an arrangement roughly similar to the
existing administrative divisions of Iraq). On this, see statements by
al-Hakim [14, 15], Sayyid Sadr-al-Din al-Qubbanji of SCIRI [6] and
Al-Sayyid Hadi al-Mudarrisi [7] in opposition to the Kurdish plans.
Similarly the Iraqi Turkoman front wants an 18-province federation, without
special consideration for the Kurds [9]. Muwaffak Al-Rubai, an independent
Shiite GC member, thinks much the same, wanting an 18-province federation,
on geographic rather than ethnic lines[10], although a few days later he
suggested that "Federalism in Kurdistan will be on the basis of ethnicity
while federalism in the rest of Iraq may be based on other criteria"[12]

Iraq's neighbours are, of course, deeply concerned about the constitutional
process, and terrified by the idea of Iraq breaking up, or of an
independent Iraqi Kurdistan. Al-Hakim is currently in Turkey, trying to
calm fears there about any form of autonomy for Kurdish areas [14,15].
Iran's fears about Kurdish autonomy are similar to those of Turkey (as a
minor example of Iran's attitude to the Kurds. bear in mind that several of
the Iranian MPs recently barred from elections were Kurdish]. Further
afield, see for example the statement of the Qatari foreign minister, on
behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council [13].

The various sides are trying to legitimise their positions by reference to
two agreements. Firstly there is the 15 November agreement on the political
process [18]. This is what Sistani objected to ("The mechanism outlined in
the agreement between the IGC and occupation authority absolutely does not
ensure a fair representation of Iraqis in the interim national council"),
and Barzani is also distancing himself from it (note that Talabani was one
of the signatories to the agreement - perhaps Barzani is trying to make
sure Talabani, not himself, gets the blame when Kurdish demands aren't
fully met?). Barzani has said that "The agreement of 15 November 2003 must
be revised and should point out the right of the people of Kurdistan of
national and political federalism."[11]. As far as I can tell, his
objections are on the grounds that: a) The agreement doesn't mention giving
special rights of Kurds b) It's statement on federation is "Federal
arrangement for Iraq, to include governorates and the separation and
specification of powers to be exercised by central and local
entities."[18]. A federation of governorates would probably not give
Kurdistan special status c) The selection process for members of the
Transitional National Assembly will be based on the existing 18
governorates All three of these decisions make sense in the context of the
15/11 agreement (it's easier to use existing administrative units, but they
do make it harder for the Kurds to get their loose federation.

The second document being mentioned is the November 2002 conference of the
Iraqi opposition in London[17]. Barzani and Talabani keep mentioning htis
because it "reaffirms the main principles and criteria of the previous
conferences and meetings of the Iraqi opposition, especially the
Salah-al-Din conference in 1992..."[17] - i.e. the KDP/PUK case is that the
opposition has already agreed with much of their case. I haven't been able
to find the text of the 1992 agreement - can anyone point me in the right

On another topic, there have been periodic claims that the GC is trying to
find an excuse to continue its existence[8] through (and possibly even
after) the transitional period. One report from New Year's Eve presents 3
options: 1) The IGC will become a senate 2) 9 IGC members will form a
committee to monitor the implementation of law during the transition period
3) A 4-man sovereignty council consisting of Chalabi, Pachachi, Barzani and
al-Hakim will assume the presidency during the transition

The CPA isn't keen on the first 2 of these options, and there would be
major opposition from all the political groups without friends on the
governing council. For example the leader of the Iraqi Turkoman Front,
Faruq Abd-al-Rahman, complains about the lack of Turkoman representation on
the IGC, and then implies that he thinks the GC will try to deny Turkoman
identity[9]. Another possibility floating around is enlargement of the
Council. The Commission of Muslim Ulema (a Sunni group connected with
Qubaysi) has formed a committee to discuss the possibility of the
commission's representation in the Governing Council in case of
enlargement.[5] Given that inefficiency has been one of the Governing
Council's greatest problems, I can't see how enlargement would help it.

This ties in with the debate about timetabling: the GC's best hope for
medium-term survival lies in presenting itself as a steady set of hands
over the transition period. Pachachi claims that plans for governing Iraq
during this transition are in their final stages, and will be completed by
the end of January [2]. He also says that details of the federation aren't
yet being discussed[1], although it's clear they are being pretty
thoroughly debated at the moment.

1) Current president of the Interim Governing Council [IGC] in Iraq Adnan
Pachachi has confirmed that there is top-level determination to set up a
federal system of governance in Iraq but said that there is no discussion
among Iraqi leaders at present of how such a system can be enforced.

"The thing that is being proposed to the IGC now is a draft law on the
administration of the Iraqi state in the interim period," Pachachi said at
a news conference broadcast live by Al-Jazeera TV on 7 January.

"There is no discussion of a federation or its details. Of course, there is
an agreement in principle on the federal system of governance and its
implementation in Iraq."

"Nonetheless, the details of this federation will be discussed by the
elected constitutional conference in 2005."

Pachachi said three-way talks will be held, involving the UN, the Iraqi and
the coalition administrations, to determine the UN's role in Iraq's
political processes prior to the transfer of power.

"It goes without saying that we want a role for the United Nations," he

"The United Nations wants to know what it is required to do in the next few
months; that is, before power and sovereignty are handed over to an interim
Iraqi government.

"We are now discussing this issue. These will be three-way talks in which
we, the United Nations, and the coalition administration will be involved.
There are things that the United Nations can do at this stage. God willing,
these things will become clearer in our discussions in New York," Pachachi

Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1155 gmt 7 Jan 04

2) [Al-Pachachi] We are not far from putting the final touches to the law
on governing the Iraqi state in the interim phase. We will hold several
meetings. The first meeting will take place on Monday [5 January] and we
hope that we will finalize this law before the end of this month.
Subsequently, it will be presented to the people in February to be debated
in seminars, societal meetings and through the radio, television and
newspapers. Afterwards, it will be implemented as of the end of February.
Source: Abu Dhabi TV, in Arabic 2043 gmt 5 Jan 04


[Abd-al-Rahman] We sensed recently that there was Kurdish anxiety about
Iraq's political future. Do you have any fears about this?

[Barzani] Yes, there are serious fears following the emergence of signs of
a backing down on promises and previous agreements. The talks are
continuing between us, the Iraqi forces, and the Coalition Authority and we
hope to reach satisfactory and fair solutions. We prefer not to go into
details at present but wait for the outcome of the talks. If necessary, we
will announce all the facts to the Kurdish people and public opinion
without any hesitation and with all sincerity and honesty.

Provinces [Abd-al-Rahman] Why are you insisting on rejecting categorically
the federation of provinces?

[Barzani] The entire Kurdish people reject the federation of provinces
because this formula dashes the Kurdish people's hopes and aspirations,
squanders all their sacrifices, and takes the Kurdish cause backward 40
years. Is it fair to ask the Kurdish people to accept the federation of
provinces after all the sacrifices they had made? We warn all those
concerned against thinking of imposing any disgraceful formula on the
Kurdish people. Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, in Arabic 6 Jan 04

4) 06/01/2004 Kurdish KDP discusses Kurdish issues, transfer of power

The central committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party held its first
normal meeting in 2004 yesterday in Salah-al-Din. ... The meeting discussed
the current discussions and dialogues around the establishment and the
administration of the [Iraqi] state. It was important the law should note
the structure and nature of the federal system that was presented to the
Governing Council by the Kurdish representatives. The Kurdish federal
system was approved by the Kurdistan Assembly. The project [of a federal
system] should form the basis for the future constitution of Iraq.

The meeting stressed that the federal system based on provinces, though it
may be appropriate for other parts of Iraq in order to run the
administration on the basis of decentralization; this type of
administrative federalism would not realize the wishes of the Kurdish
people, which necessitates a voluntary unity between the Kurdish region, as
a geographic, populace and political region, on the one hand, and the other
region or regions of Iraq, on the other hand. A federal system on the basis
of the provinces could be used in any region to strengthen

... The discussions about the rights of the Kurdish people within a
political, national and geographic federal system must be based on the
historical facts. The KDP central committee was convinced that the Kurdish
demands were just and that its conviction was strengthened by the existence
of many core groups inside and outside Kurdistan who supported the just
rights of the Kurdish people, such as the US administration, the EU and the
international public opinion.

[Passage omitted: The meeting called for a united Kurdish voice and the
unity of all political and democratic forces to achieve current national
goals; it called for the establishment of a democratic federal Iraq; the
party believed in coexistence and tolerance among the ethnic and religious
communities of the Iraqi society] ... It was necessary to remove the
effects of the demographic and political changes in Kirkuk and other areas.
Those evicted [from Kirkuk and other areas] must return to their homes and
be given compensations.

The meeting accorded importance to the merger of the two [Kurdish] regional
administrations and asked for the Kurdish home to be put in order. The
current transitional phase was very important for the future of Kurdistan
and Iraq, in which the format and the structure of the system will be
identified. ... Source: Kurdistan Satellite TV, Salah-al-Din, in Sorani
Kurdish 1130 gmt 6 Jan 04

5) 15/11/2003 Iraqi Muslim Ulema examine possibility of representation in
Governing Council

The Commission of Muslim Ulema in Iraq has stated that US Civilian Governor
Paul Bremer invited a large number of mosques imams, shaykhs and clerics
before his departure to the United States to hold an important meeting with
them this week to discuss the situation in the country, especially the
security [situation] in the areas where the Sunnis are the majority, in
addition to the political situation and the acceleration of the transfer of
power to the Iraqis.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat learned that the commission formed a committee under the
chairmanship of Shaykh Dr Harith al-Dari, to discuss the possibility of the
commission's representation in the Governing Council in case it was
enlarged. Shaykh Harith is a grandson of Shaykh Dari, one of the leaders of
the 1920 revolution against the English. He is now in charge of the
political file in the Commission of Muslim Ulema that is chaired by Shaykh
Dr Ahmad Abd-al-Salam al-Kubaysi.

An authoritative source in the commission said the prevailing attitude in
it tends to lean towards cooperating with the Governing Council and to join
it if the aim were to accelerate the ending of the occupation and drawing
up a timetable for US withdrawal. This is bound to have a deep impact on
the security situation, especially in the Sunni areas that are now in a
state of instability. The source pointed out that the failure to give
greater weight to the Commission of Muslim Ulema during the consultations
to form the Governing Council had a negative impact on the citizens and at
the same time showed that the US administration did not have a clear idea
of the Iraqi people's components and nature.

This committee was formed following statements from US officials about
giving a bigger role to the Sunnis in managing the country's affairs and
softening their anger resulting from what they believed was their
marginalization in the political life and the restriction of that role to
the representatives of some parties.

Source: Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, in Arabic 15 Nov 03

6) 03/01/2004 Iraqi SCIRI imam rejects federation principle proposed by

In a Friday sermon in the holy city of Al-Najaf yesterday, Sayyid
Sadr-al-Din al-Qubbanji voiced opposition to the principle of federation
called for by Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. Speaking before a large
gathering of worshippers, Al-Qubbanji, who represents the Supreme Council
for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI] in the holy city of Al-Najaf,
said that priority should be given to the central issue; namely, Iraq's
independence from the occupation forces. He added: That is why our Kurdish
brothers should think of this issue first before talking about other
rights. He stressed the need for efforts to preserve the unity of Iraq,
saying that any talk about the rights of minorities is acceptable if it
leads to Iraq's unity.

Source: Voice of the Mujahidin, in Arabic 0700 gmt 3 Jan 04

7) 03/01/2004 Iraqi Shi'i leader opposes federal Iraq in talks with

Against the backdrop of a heated debate on federation, which the Kurds
insist on consecrating legally for the new Iraq before democratic elections
are held, [Shi'i leader] Al-Sayyid Hadi al-Mudarrisi has paid a visit to
[Shi'i leader] Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Ali al-Sistani in holy Al-Najaf.

During the meeting, Al-Mudarrisi reiterated his opposition to this idea,
and underlined the constant demand that general elections be held to draft
a constitution for Iraq.

It is well-known that Al-Sayyid Al-Sistani has repeatedly declared his
opposition to any step that could bypass the Iraqi people's will. He has
also stressed the need to hold general elections to determine the people's
views on the constitution and their political future.

There have recently been loud voices coming from the Kurdish areas,
particularly from the Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] led by Mas'ud
Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK] led by Jalal Talabani
stressing the need to expedite the efforts to legally and irreversibly
recognize federation as the basis of governance in Iraq, which reflects the
Kurds' long-standing aspirations to gain privileges and powers which they
say would guarantee their security and stability as well as their national
identity in Iraq.

Source: Voice of the Mujahidin, in Arabic 0700 gmt 3 Jan 04

8) 31/12/2003 Iraqi Governing Council seeks a role after power transfer

Political sources close to the Iraqi Governing Council [IGC] said the
council is currently debating its future following a transition of power to
the Iraqis in harmony with the agreement, which the IGC and the coalition
authority signed on 15 November. The sources emphasized the IGC is
discussing several proposals to maintain the role of its members once a
provisional authority assumes power in the country at the end of June when
the coalition authority's role comes to an end. The sources said the IGC is
currently deliberating three proposals as follows:

First: The entire 25-member IGC will become a Senate that oversees the
provisional government's performance. Together with a transitional
parliament the Senate will have legislative powers. This proposal however,
faces objections from the IGC members and strong opposition from the
coalition authority.

Second: Nine IGC members - most probably the members of the presidency who
rotate office every month - will be selected to form a committee that
monitors the implementation of law during the transitional period. The
formula of this proposal was not clearly submitted to the IGC, which was
debating it. Preliminary indications however to check the viewpoint of the
coalition authority concerning this proposal were not encouraging.

Third: Four IGC members will be selected to form a sovereignty council that
will assume the country's presidency during the transitional period. The
council is expected to include Dr Ahmad Chalabi, Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim,
Mas'ud Barzani, and Adnan Pachachi. The sources said the third proposal is
the most recent that the IGC members are debating. However, they said, the
proposal faces opposition from the IGC regarding whether the proposed
sovereignty council should or should not have a president and if it should
whether one of the sovereignty council's members will assume presidency or
whether the members will rotate presidency during the transitional period
similar to the current rotation policy of the IGC.

Source: Al-Mu'tamar, Baghdad, in Arabic 31 Dec 03 p 1

9) [Al-Jazwi] What type of regime do you favour in Iraq? Are you in favour
of the old regime or a federation?

[Abd-al-Rahman] The former Iraq was a unified Iraq. We believe in a unified
Iraq that groups together its various ethnic communities, and each ethnic
community must have the same rights and duties without one group dominating
the other. Everybody must be equal before the law. As you know, the Iraqi
opposition held conferences in Washington, London and Arbil before the fall
of the regime. The Iraqi Turkoman Front participated in these conferences
and we agreed on some sort of federation in Iraq after the fall of the
regime. The nature of this federation was not determined at the time. After
the collapse of the regime these factions agreed that there should be a
federation, but the type of federation demanded by each faction is
different. We are thinking of a federation that comprises 18 provinces in
Iraq, which means 18 states, administrations or governorates, in which
governors will have powers to run things in their regions. This would help
establish a unified Iraq with links to the central government in Baghdad.
As Turkomans, we believe that an Iraq of this type would enable each
individual, north and south, to think of how to serve the country without
any domination by a certain faction in any region.

[Al-Jazwi] How would you like the new Iraqi constitution to be?

[Abd-al-Rahman] The constitution that we have in mind is one that
guarantees the rights and safeguards the freedoms of all people without
harming others. It must also guarantee freedom of opinion, thought,
education and affiliation. Any constitution other than that would not
succeed in achieving these principles and would not establish democracy in
the country. So, what we want from the constitution is to see a multiple,
democratic, parliamentary and unified Iraq.

Governing Council
[Al-Jazwi] What is your assessment of the Governing Council?

[Abd-al-Rahman] The Governing Council at present is made up of 25 members
representing various political factions. The Iraqi Turkoman Front is made
up of five Turkoman political parties as well as 40 cultural organizations
throughout the world. Despite this, the front was not represented in the
Governing Council, although it represents 90 per cent of the Turkomani
community in Iraq, which numbers three million people. They form a strip
from the extreme northwest, in the city of Tall A'far, to the extreme
southeast in Al-Aziziyah. In this strip of land the Turkomans are
widespread, according to the census conducted in 1947 and 1957. This is
because after 1968 the name Turkoman was removed from statistics, based on
decisions by the former regime. In other words, the Turkomani identity in
Iraq was wiped out. Now, we do not want a repetition of the same tragedy
against a people who have struggled for their freedom and dignity and
served Iraq with their blood to maintain its soil and unity. Source:
Al-Ra'y al-Amm web site, Kuwait, in Arabic 30 Dec 03

10) 01/01/2004 Iraqi official argues for federation on geographic, not
ethnic basis

At a conference for the General Secretariat of the Islamic Democratic
Current held in the Iraqi city of Al-Kut, Iraqi interim Governing Council
member Muwaffaq al-Rubay'i said that the federation for which the Iraqis
aspire should be based on geographic and not ethnic or sectarian grounds.

[Al-Rubay'i - recording] The federation for which we call should not be
based on ethnic or sectarian grounds but should have administrative,
geographic and demographic bases. This means a basis related to the
population. For example, one of the ideas says that each governorate is a
federal entity by itself. This means 18 federal governorates. [words

There is another option. In fact, there are several options. Of course, our
Kurdish brothers want a federation on an ethnic basis. The right to
self-determination is a basic right for all human beings and peoples. But
as far as we are concerned, our clear and open opinion is that the
federation should be based on administrative and not ethnic or sectarian

Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 2010 gmt 1 Jan 04


30/12/2003 Iraqi Kurdish leader Barzani says accord on political process
must be amended

[Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP] Leader [Mas'ud ] Barzani conferred with
officials and comrades of the KDP Branch-12 on Sunday [28 December], on the
occasion of the return of the branch to the boundaries of Halabjah
Administrative District. After expressing his delight on this occasion in a
valuable speech, he [Mas'ud Barzani] shed the light on the current
situation in Kurdistan and Iraq, and on the most important issues,
especially the federalism issue and its connection with the Kurdish
people's demands, will and legitimate and true rights.

Barzani's statements have been given great attention by the news agencies,
satellite channels and most important Arab; international and local
newspapers. They have particularly emphasized on his statement concerning
his views about the Kurdish people's rights, and federalism which has
recently become a subject of stances and opinions by various circles of the
Kurdish people. He said: "The agreement of 15 November 2003 must be revised
and should point out the right of the people of Kurdistan of national and
political federalism."

It is to be noted that on 15 November 03 an agreement "on the political
process" was signed by member of the Governing Council [and leader of the
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan], Jalal Talabani, Ambassador Paul Bremer and
Coalition Provisional Authority [official]; David Richmond, included no
proposals on and no mention of the Kurds and Kurdistan, and the
[arrangement for] Iraqi federalism was set on the bases of governorates.

Source: Khabat, Arbil, in Sorani Kurdish 30 Dec 03

12) 09/01/2004 Iraqi Kurds demand federalism "based on ethnicity" (TEXT)

The secretary-general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK], Jalal
Talabani; the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP], Mas'ud
Barzani; and a joint delegation from the PUK and KDP Political Bureaus held
a broad meeting in Salah-al-Din summer resort with the leaders and
representatives of the following Iraqi national political parties and

The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI], the Iraqi
Communist Party, the Iraqi National Congress, the Iraqi National Democratic
Party, the Iraqi National Accord Movement, the Iraqi Islamic Party and the
Arab Socialist Movement, and a number of Iraqi independent figures.

In statements, Talabani and Barzani reviewed the current political
situation and the legitimate demands and rights of the Kurdish people in
Iraqi Kurdistan. They stressed the need for the fulfilment of those demands
and rights, which were represented in the people of Kurdistan enjoying
federalism within the framework of a united Iraq.

The meeting aims at explaining the views and attitudes of the Kurdish
political leadership, represented by Talabani and Barzani, which demands
and stresses the need to build a united, democratic, federal, pluralist and
parliamentary Iraq, in which all the ethnic groups and sects enjoy all
their legitimate rights and a secure and prosperous life.

After the meeting, a number of the participants made statements to the
media on their views regarding federalism for the Kurdistan region and the
results of the meeting.

Ethnic basis [Member of the Iraqi Governing Council Muwaffaq al-Rubay'i-
recording in Arabic] Federalism in Kurdistan will be on the basis of
ethnicity while federalism in the rest of Iraq may be based on other

Perhaps, they could use some administrative criteria. There may be five
federal systems, for example: a federal system in Kurdistan on an ethnic
basis, a federal system in the south - Basra, Al-Nasiriyah, Al-Amarah - on
a cultural, geographic and administrative basis; in Al-Najaf, Karbala,
Al-Hillah and Al-Diwaniyah the federal system could also be on a cultural

In other areas, such as greater Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, and in the
western region it could be on a cultural and geographic basis.

The main thing is that the Iraqi bunch of flowers with all its diverse
colours and smells would be a single bunch that would constitute Iraq.

Unity What we have heard from the two Kurdish leaders- Mas'ud Barzani and
Mam Jalal - is very reassuring. Their concern about the unity of Iraq is no
less in any way than the concern of any other Iraqi citizen; that is to say
they are not less concerned than a Shi'i or a Sunni about the unity of
Iraq. Messrs Jalal and Mas'ud spoke about the unity in very strong terms.
This is reassuring for all the other components of the Iraqi people,
because we are in the process of rebuilding a new Iraq.

All the components of the Iraqi people have fears and all the Iraqis have
fears. The reassurances must address these fears; the Arab Sunni must
address the Kurdish fears the Shi'is must address the Sunnis' fears and the
Kurds must address the Shi'is' fears. We are all engaged in the process of
building a united country; namely, Iraq. [End of recording]

Meeting "successful" [Unidentified representative of the Iraqi Islamic
Party - recording in Arabic] Yes, the meeting was very successful. Leader
Mas'ud Barzani spoke at the meeting and explained the point of view of the
Kurdish people, which reassures the Arab people. These rights are firmly
established and clear to the political leaders. There is absolutely no
difference between us and them. Also Mr Jalal explained the rights of the
Kurdish and Arab peoples, and that these rights fulfil demands of the two
peoples. There will be no stability and security in Iraq without accord
between the two fraternal peoples. There were no difference between all the
leaders who attended the meeting. [End of recording]

[Unidentified reporter - recording in Arabic] There are concerns among the
Kurdish people regarding the nonrealization of federalism on a geographic
and ethnic basis. Was the meeting a springboard for easing the Kurdiush
people's concerns?

Concerns [Current chairman of the Iraqi Governing Council Adnan al-Pachachi
- recording in Arabic] I believe that there are concerns among the Arab
people. However, when these points are made clear, there will be no
differences. There are no differences over federalism for the Kurdish
people based on ethnicity. There are some sensitivities in one or two
areas, which will be decided upon by the Kurdish and Arab people - the
majority who live in the area after census and after evacuating the people
who had been brought into the area by force - Saddam brought them to the
area. Those people will leave these areas, and this is an Arab and Kurdish
demand and a demand by the whole of the Iraqi people, which will fulfil the
aspirations of all the other ethnic groups, including the Arabs, Kurds and
Turkomans. [End of recording]

[Reporter ] There is another important point for the Kurdish people and for
the Iraqi people as a whole. This is about the issue of the displaced
people who were deported by the deposed regime. Was this issue discussed at
the meeting?

Displaced, deported [Al-Pachachi] There is an agreement on this issue by
the main political parties that the people who have been displaced to the
Kurdish areas or even to the Arab areas, where the brother Kurds were
deported to, will return to their areas and settle there.

[Reporter] There is an agreement, but in practical terms no steps have been
taken to return the displaced people to their areas of origin.

[Al-Pachachi] Naturally, they will not be resettled this minute, but we
have agreed that they cannot stay in these areas, because that constitutes
an injustice to the Arab, Kurdish and any other peoples in the region.

Kirkuk [Reporter 2 - recording in Arabic] What would be the position
regarding the annexation of Kirkuk to Kurdistan?

[Al-Pachachi] A point of view has developed that it would be possible to
postpone the situation [as heard] in that area. If the majority living in
the area are Kurds, then the Kurds have the right to be in the federal
region. There is no concern about federalism; the rights are firmly
established and there will be no marginalisation of any of the ethnic
groups inhabiting the area As to the natural resources in the area, it
would be possible to negotiate and reach an agreement on all the other
clauses. [End of recording]

[Reporter 2] However, under the circumstances prior to the return of the
displaced people to their places of origin, particularly in the city of
Kirkuk; isn't there something missing which should be considered before a
decision is made regarding the annexation of Kirkuk to the Kurdistan

[Al-Pachachi] It would not be possible to establish the [affiliation of
the] area without moving the settlers from the Kirkuk area. [End of

[Passage omitted: Unidentified speaker on the need to have a broad debate
in Iraq]

Source: KurdSat TV, Al-Sulaymaniyah, in Arabic 1200 gmt 9 Jan 04

13) 11/01/2004 Qatari foreign minister says Gulf states reject division of
    Abu Dhabi, 11 January: Qatar first deputy prime minister and foreign
minister has said members states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
reject division of Iraq.
    "The division of Iraq will be harmful to its neighbours and the Arab
world," Shaykh Hamad Bin-Jassim Al Thani told reporters here today.
    Shaykh Hamad said any division of Iraq would create a dangerous
situation in the region and "is against our approach in Qatar."
    Source: WAM news agency web site, Abu Dhabi, in English 11 Jan 04

14) 13/01/2004 Iraq's SCIRI leader rules out independent Kurdish state -
Turkish TV
    Al-Sayyid Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim, chairman of the Supreme Council for the
Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI], one of the largest Shi'i groups in
Iraq, will begin his contacts in Ankara today. He is expected to meet Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a special statement to NTV yesterday,
Al-Hakim said that there can be no question of a Kurdish state in the north
of his country.
    In his statement, Al-Hakim first commented on the possibility of an
independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. He said: I do not believe that
an independent Kurdish state can be set up in northern Iraq, because the
Kurdish leaders have always asserted that they do not want an independent
state and that they are in favour of the country's integrity. Furthermore,
if they had any intention of going for independence, they could have
achieved this goal when the old regime withdrew from northern Iraq and they
seized total control of the area. We believe that the Kurds are also in
favour of a united Iraq.
    Are Mosul and Kirkuk Kurdish cities? Al-Hakim approached this matter
cautiously. He said: We postponed discussion on this matter until an
elected parliament comes to power. I am guessing, however, that
neighbouring countries will react harshly to the acknowledgement of Mosul
and Kirkuk as Kurdish cities. We do not want Iraq to be a cause for concern
in the region. If Iraq is stable, so will our region be. We witnessed the
possible consequences of a contrary situation developing during the Iran
and Kuwait wars and when terrorist organizations like the PKK [Kurdistan
Workers' Party] established themselves in our country.
    Source: NTV television, Istanbul, in Turkish 0800 gmt 13 Jan 04

15) According to information we received from diplomatic sources, Al-Hakim,
who is the biggest representative of the Shi'is in Iraq, told the Turkish
officials that his people are disturbed by the Iraqi Kurds' initiatives for
a federation and they are opposed to these initiatives. This is a
significant development.
    Source: TRT 2 television, Ankara, in Turkish 1100 gmt 13 Jan 04




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