Kurdistan issues in press interviews: Dr Mahmud Uthman

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Sign the petition for Iraq's three-region solution March 1, 2008 Kurdistan issues in press interviews: Dr Mahmud Uthman

Kurdishaspect.com - Translated by Dr Kamal Mirawdeli

Kirkuk is not a national issue for KDP/PUK. Mosul military campaign aim at weakening Kurds

Translated from: Midya,Arbil, weekly newspaper in Standard  Kurdish published by Democratic National Union of Kurdistan (YNDK), 27 May 08, p 2. 

Member of Iraqi National Assembly [from Kurdistan Alliance List] Dr Mahmud Uthman thinks that the current military operation in Mosul aims to weaken the strength of the Kurds in Mosul . For the implementation of article 140, he thinks that the Kurdish leadership should act at a higher level rather than at the level of party centres and branches. In an exclusive statement about the military campaign in Mosul 'Umm al-Rabia'yn" made to Mydia, the Kurdistan Alliance MP said: "the current operations in Mosul are, according to the interpretation of the Ba'thists, a great effort to eliminate al-Qaida and terror groups. But there is another undeclared element of this campaign which is the weakening of the Kurds in Mosul and driving the Kurdish forces out. In their [Arabs'?] view Kurdistan is limited to the three governorates of Kurdistan Region." In response to those MPs who describe the military campaign as an effort to eliminate al-Qaida and the Kurds, Dr Uthman said:" This is not the position of parliament. They are our friends (the Islamic Party); we have an alliance with them. In spite of this some people do have such approach. They are those people who have an Arabist chauvinistic world view. These people are not prepared to accept the return of Kirkuk to Kurdistan by any means. They do not want the Kurds to have any power in Mosul , Diyala and Kirkuk . But all the Arabs do not think this way." About the attempts of the Iraqi government to set up 'Nakhwa' [Sahwa's version in Mosul ] forces by arming tribal men and the appointment of 7000 persons from tribes so far in 'nakhwa', Iraqi MP Mahmud Uthman said:" [Iraqi PM] Maliki has said this. But this is not the direction in which Maliki thinks. But some people do work for this. However, the Iraqi government will find out that the Kurds were loyal and defended the area against terror along with government and other forces. There is a lot of effort to distort the image of the Kurds and misrepresent them to the Arabs. Perhaps some mistakes have been made. But it was with good intention and direction that the Kurds went to Mosul and served there. The Kurds went to Mosul with the knowledge of the Iraqi government and as a part of the Iraqi army." Uthman did not rule out that Maliki's promise to create a proper environment for governorates' elections is intended to increase the number of Sunni Arabs in the Nainawa Council because in the previous elections the Sunnis had boycotted the elections and thus they were underrepresented in the Nainawa Council. Perhaps in the next elections they will have considerable presence and the number of the Kurds on the Council would decrease. Of course, when other parties participate in the elections in Nainawa, this will lead to the reduction of Kurdish presence in Nainawa." 

About the proposals of UN Special Representative to Iraq Stefan de Mistura [about article 140]m Dr Uthman said:" It was supposed that de Mistura would present his proposals about this article on 16 may but it seems that he has postponed this to the beginning of June." He added: "I think it is not right to delay the implementation of the article and it is not necessary. It will complicate the issue and make it more difficult to implement. UN Special Representative is in a visit to Sweden to attend a conference on Iraq . When he comes back, he will present his project. People are waiting for his proposals."

Answering the question whether yet another extension of the period of this article would not risk creating a scenario of automatic extensions whenever a deadline expires, he said:" The fronts that are hostile to article 140 are increasing day by day. We have been busy with this article for five years, every year it becomes more difficult." About the effectiveness of Kurdish efforts he said:" Kurdish leadership should have determined [the function] of this article from the beginning. In my view it was better not to have such an article. It was out of helplessness that this article [was suggested]. Kurdish leadership should have acted with the people of the areas that had not been incorporated in Kurdistan Region and attracted support of the population to join Kurdistan Region, they should have spent money and carried out projects so that they could persuade the people that they would be better off to be part of Kurdistan . Then they needed to have more dialogue with these people whether they were Turkomans or Arabs. Kurdistan leadership must act at a much higher level than party centres and branches to pay attention to the detached areas. We still have a lot of opportunity to do this although we failed in the past. We were to some extent negligent and sometimes we lacked unity of approach. It has been less viewed as a national issue and approached to a great extent in the context of party politics. That is why we have shortcomings. We could do much more. From now on we need to have a united position and approach. We must act for the implementation of article 140 and not kill time any more. The more we squander time, the more we lose. Kurdish leadership needs to be serious about this issue both internally and externally."

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