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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] 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). 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".  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."  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".) 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  and Al-Sayyid Hadi al-Mudarrisi  in opposition to the Kurdish plans. Similarly the Iraqi Turkoman front wants an 18-province federation, without special consideration for the Kurds . Muwaffak Al-Rubai, an independent Shiite GC member, thinks much the same, wanting an 18-province federation, on geographic rather than ethnic lines, 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" 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 . 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 . 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.". 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.". 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. 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..." - 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 direction? On another topic, there have been periodic claims that the GC is trying to find an excuse to continue its existence 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. 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. 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 . He also says that details of the federation aren't yet being discussed, 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 said. "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 said. 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 3) [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 decentralization. ... 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 Kurds 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 Al-Sistani 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 indistinct]. 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 grounds. Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 2010 gmt 1 Jan 04 11) 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 forces. 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 criteria. 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 basis. 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 region? [Al-Pachachi] It would not be possible to establish the [affiliation of the] area without moving the settlers from the Kirkuk area. [End of recording] [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 Iraq 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 16) http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/13/international/middleeast/13DIPL.html?hp=&pagewanted=print&position= 17) http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2003/msg00115.html 18) http://www.cpa-iraq.org/audio/20031115_Nov-15-GC-CPA-Final_Agreement-post.htm _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk