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 Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

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Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief  20.11.2012  

November 20, 2012

Sulêmani (Sulaimaniyah), Erbil-Hewler, Duhok, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Peshmerga Minister: our movements came as a result of Maliki's threats

Erbil: Minister of Peshmerga in Kurdistan Regional Government, Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa said "The movements of the Peshmerga forces came as a result of the threat of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and military leaders." The Web site of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said " Sheikh Mustafa received Gen. Kaslen the security coordination office official for the U.S. military in Iraq and his delegation, which consisting of the U.S. consul in Erbil and a number of senior advisers of the U.S. consulate, in the presence of Anwar Haji Othman, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Peshmerga and the General Jabbar Yawar secretary-general of the ministry and the General Jamal Muhammad, chief of staff of the ministry. " During the meeting, they discussed the situation in the district of Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk province, Sheikh Mustafa said: "The movements of the Peshmerga forces are the result of the threat of al-Maliki and the military leaders and their movements in the region." Gen. Kaslen asked not to resort to the military solution and try to solve problems through dialogue, stressing Washington's support for dialogue as a way to solve problems, according to the statement.

2 ministries to be added to Kurdish Cabinet

Erbil: Kurdish Parliament endorsed adding to ministerial posts to the current cabinet, to reach 19 ministries. Aswat al-Iraq correspondent reported that the majority of the parliament endorsed the decision, expecting that the first for the Izidi component and the second to coordinate work between the government and the parliament. The Kurdish parliament has 111 members.

Sharp discussion between Maliki and Kurdish ministers : close sources

Baghdad: Sharp discussion occurred in Cabinet meeting Tuesday between Premier Nouri al-Maliki and Kurdish ministers along the latest disputes between Baghdad and Erbil, as reported by close sources. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the Kurdish ministers indulged in hot wrangling with Maliki on the current crisis of Dijla Operations Command and its movement in the disputed areas. Maliki expressed his great annoyance for Kurdish military movements, while the Kurds charged him of starting the move. Baghdad-Erbil relations witnessed greater tension along the formation of Dijla Operations Command, which matter was rejected by the Kurdish region administration, as an attempt to control the disputed areas. The developments were heightened when both sides moved their forces in the disputed areas in Kirkuk, Ninewa, Salahal-Din and Diala provinces, amid exchange of accusations of violating the Iraqi constitution.

Committee of Peshmerga visits Kirkuk

Kirkuk: The committee of the Peshmerga in Kurdistan Parliament has visited the city of Kirkuk Tuesday 20, Nov. The reporter of the National Iraqi News Agency said that the committee members held a meeting upon arrival with the governor of Kirkuk Najimalddin Kareem and discussed with him the recent security developments south of Kirkuk. The differences between the Kurdistan region and the central government have escalated in recent times, especially after the formation of the Tigris forces to maintain security in Diyala, Kirkuk and Salah al-Din, in which the Kurds considered that as violation of the constitution and an interference in the disputed areas. On last Friday clashes erupted between elements of the Tigris forces and Personal Protection team of a Kurdish member in the city of Tuz Khurmatu, east of the city of Tikrit, killing one civilian and wounding a number of Tigris operations forces. The commander in chief of the armed forces, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki warned yesterday, the Peshmerga forces of change positions and move closer to the positions of the armed forces.

Iraqiya hold a meeting with a delegation from the K A to solve the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil: Damluji

Baghdad: Spokesperson for Iraqiya Slate Maysoon Damalooji said o NINA : " The IS currently hold a meeting with a delegation representing the Kurdistan Alliance to solve the fierce crisis broken out between Kurdistan province and Baghdad and resort to dialogue away of using of force. She added: "The I S eager to play a constructive role to find an end to this intractable crisis ," noting that " the IS stand strongly against extremism, whether it manifested by Arabs or Kurds. It is noteworthy to mention in this context that the political arena is witnessing a severe crisis between the central government and Kurdistan region because of the formation by Baghdad of Dijlah Military Operations Command.

Peshmerga -Iraqi army tension finished: Kurdish sources

Erbil: The Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry announced here Monday that "quietness prevailed in the disputed areas after containing the differences with Dijla Operations Command". In an interview with semi-official Iraqiya TV, Peshmerga Ministry's Secretary General Jabbar Yawar stated that "Premier Nouri al-Maliki is the commander of military commands all over Iraq and the problems shall be solved by resorting to the Iraqi constitution". Yawar called for "quick solution of pending issues between Baghdad and Arbil through dialogue that will contribute in implementing Article 140 of the constitution. Kurdish region president Massoud Barzani stated, earlier, that he will conduct talks with President Jalal Talabani to "crystallize a serious stand on Dijla Operations Command", which was described as "unconstitutional step in cut off areas". Dijla Operations Command was announced on 3 July, 2012, to control the security dossiers in Kirkuk, Diala and Salah al-Din provinces. This formation incited rejection stands by the Kurdish leadership and Kirkuk province, where Peshmerga minister Jaffar Sheikh Mustapha warned to counter these forces if they were militarily moved. Premier Maliki regarded the objections of Kirkuk province as "unconstitutional", because the formation of this force is "organizational and administrative", pointing that the movement of Peshmerga force in the disputed areas "a violation of the constitution".

Baghdad-Kirkuk road closed

Kirkuk: Eyewitnesses and drivers, gathered near Hamrin Mountain range, said that the Baghdad-Kirkuk road is been closed since Monday evening, Nov. 19, because of the arrival of Iraqi military reinforcements near the Injaneh Checkpoint, known as Farhad Checkpoint, 95 km south of Kirkuk, on the Hamrin Mountain range. Talking to NINA the eyewitnesses said that the situation is still normal in Tuzkhormato district, but tens of trucks and vehicles are being held on both sides of Baghdad-Kirkuk road near Injaneh checkpoint, because of the arrival of the Dijlah Operations forces.

Erbil Named 2014 Arab Tourism Capital

Erbil: Erbil has been appointed the 2014 tourism capital by the Arab Council of Tourism. During the council’s conference in Cairo last month, four cities -- Beirut, Taif, Sharjah and Erbil -- competed to win the title of tourism capital for the year 2014. “During the conference, we presented a 10-minute documentary about Erbil which is why we won the contest,” said Tahir Abdulla, Erbil deputy governor. He added that they plan to play the documentary on Al Arabiya to advertise and attract tourists. The film was produced by Afshar Production Company and cost 600 million dinars. According to Abdulla, the security situation in Erbil was another reason why it won the contest. The Arab Council of Tourism has several conditions necessary to win the tourism capital title. For example, Erbil had to present 40 different activities that it will host throughout the year. Abdulla said, “From the beginning of next year, we will start planning the activities according to the seasons. For example, we plan to have ice skating in the winter.”

Kurdistan Endowments to visit Vatican

Erbil: The Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf ) and Religious Affairs in Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced on Monday that a delegation from Kurdistan. headed by Minister of Endowments will visit to the Vatican on Tuesday, to meet with Pope Benedict XVI and brief him on the situation in Kurdistan and peaceful coexistence among the religions. A statement of the Directorate General of Yazidis in the ministry in which, "Shafaq News", received a copy of it that "a high-level delegation from the Ministry of endowments and Religious Affairs in KRG, headed by the Minister of endowments and Religious Affairs, Kamel Haji Ali and the membership of Director General for Yazidis , Christians affairs Director , managers in the Muslims affairs in Erbil and Dohuk will visit the State of the Vatican on Tuesday. " "The aim of this visit comes to inform the Pope of the Vatican on the situation in Kurdistan, especially the peaceful coexistence among religions and also to strengthen relations between the religious institutions in the Vatican and the Ministry of endowments and Religious Affairs." The statement noted that "the visiting delegation will meet in addition to Pope Benedict XVI both the Prime Minister and also the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vatican.” Kurdistan region has a majority of Kurdish Muslims, along with the presence of religious and national minorities, including Turkmen, Arab, Al-Celdo ,Assyrian and Muslims (Sunni and Shiite), Christians and Yazidis.

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