Kurdish Aspect covers issues related to Kurds and Kurdistan within the larger context of Middle Eastern concerns. The website offers readers a treasure of information as a useful guide to know how others view the Kurds. Kurdish aspect is proud that a significant number of contributors who have a deep understanding and experience in Kurdish history, culture and politics constantly write for the website. Kurdish Aspect also publishes the quarterly Kurdish Aspect Magazine."> Iraqi PM Feuds With Kurdish Parties Over Local Councils

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Sign the petition for Iraq's three-region solution November 12, 2008 Iraqi PM Feuds With Kurdish Parties Over Local Councils

AFP

BAGHDAD --Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stepped up a war of words with the country's Kurdish parties Wednesday over the issue of pro-government local councils that could undermine the parties' power.

Maliki expressed his "deep regret at the media escalation" over the so-called Support Councils, local tribal groups across Iraq who have allied with the government to help improve security in the country.

"It was necessary to form the Support Councils to preserve law and order in the provinces that had seen a breakdown in security," Maliki said in a statement.

The Kurdish parties have criticized those councils that have been formed in mostly Kurdish areas, accusing Maliki of creating illegal proxies aimed at foiling their aspirations for a greater autonomous Kurdish region.

The councils grew out of a larger movement, begun in the Sunni Anbar province in late 2006, whereby local tribes and families allied themselves with the government to drive out militias and other armed groups.

Earlier this week, the two main Kurdish parties - the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Kurdish regional President Massud Barzani - issued a joint statement slamming the councils as "unconstitutional" armed groups.

Iraq's largest Shiite party, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, has voiced similar concerns about groups formed in the mostly Shiite south of the country, viewing them as an illegal extension of federal power.

The councils could play a major role in Iraqi provincial elections, which are slated for Jan. 31 in 14 of the country's 18 provinces, and in the larger debate over the centralization of power in the country. 

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