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Iraqi Kurdish demands and GOI responses

Dear all

Further to Part III of my magnum opus (about Kurdistan, security 
guarantees, and the sanctions), I have finally got around to typing up 
some of my notes from Denis Halliday's talk to the June anti-sanctions 
conference in London. 

We invited Denis to report on his recent trip to Iraqi Kurdistan 
(earlier in the month) and he described the positions of the Kurdish 
leaderships and the Baghdad government. My notes may not be 
completely accurate but they say:

Kurdish leaders wanted 
a) a multiparty democratic system in Iraq as a whole
b) a guaranteed proportion of Iraqi oil revenues (13 per as presently)
c) security guarantees (not specified by DH or asked about at the 
conference for some reason)
d) a federal system in all Iraq

The GOI said
a) the multiparty system question can be discussed after the war is 
over (again, not specified or clarified by questions!)
b) on security, the Kurdish borders can be guarded by Kurdish 
pershmerga (guerrillas)
c) revenues would be coming from taxes, but there would be no 
commitment to any particular proportion of oil revenues - revenues 
would be on a per capita basis
d) there is no capacity for federalism in most of the country

Denis suggested to government advisors in Baghdad that perhaps the 
autonomy/federalism conundrum could be transcended by talking 
about 'devolution' as in the UK.

Denis made it clear to the authorities in Baghdad that while they saw 
the Kurdish crisis as a domestic issue, others saw it as an international 

The Kurdish agenda is somewhat wider than Alexander Sternberg 
was suggesting, then, and explicitly has ramifications for the rest of the 
country (though this very broadness may indicate these elements are 
in part at least gambits in negotiation).



Milan Rai
Joint Coordinator, Voices in the Wilderness UK
29 Gensing Road, St Leonards on Sea East Sussex UK TN38 0HE
Phone/fax 0845 458 9571 local rate within UK
Phone/fax 44 1424 428 792 from outside UK
Pager 07623 746 462
Voices website

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