Masrour Barzani stresses need to implement Article 140 of Iraqi Constitution ahead of elections
The Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on Wednesday stressed the need to implement Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution to resolve the issues surrounding the disputed province of Kirkuk.
During a meeting with Australian Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Langman, KRSC Chancellor Masrour Barzani highlighted the importance of resolving the status of Kirkuk and other disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraq.
According to the Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, the future of Kirkuk and other disputed areas were to be decided with a local referendum where the people living in these provinces would choose whether they wanted to join the KRG or remain under the Iraqi government.
The KRSC head noted that ignoring this article has led to ongoing political differences between Kurdistan and Iraq, adding it needs to be implemented before Iraqi elections in May.
The Australian Ambassador expressed his country’s support for the Kurdistan Region and said Australia would continue “to develop and strengthen relations between the two sides.”
Langman also mentioned his satisfaction with the development of talks between Erbil and Baghdad, hoping that the upcoming elections in Iraq and Kurdistan are “the beginning of a new stage to resolve differences.”
Relations between Erbil and Baghdad considerably deteriorated following the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum which received overwhelming support for secession from Iraq.
Baghdad reacted by imposing collective punitive measures on Kurdistan including an international flight ban and the use of military force to regain control of disputed areas.
Senior Kurdistan Region officials, including Chancellor Barzani, have repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to avoid violence and begin a dialogue to resolve their differences peacefully.