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 Kurdistan presidency responds to Iraqi PM's allegation in NRT interview

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Kurdistan presidency responds to Iraqi PM's allegation in NRT interview  25.5.2012  

May 25, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Kurdistan Region presidential website published today a statement in response to allegations the Iraqi Prime Minister attributed to Kurdistan during an interview with the private Nalia Radio and TV on May 13.

The statement refuted the allegations one by one, documenting evidence in form of speeches, statements, letters and statistics and accusing Maliki of violating the constitution and agreements.

Disbelief in Iraqi Constitution

The statement said that on Dec. 12, 2010 when Maliki read the program of his cabinet he said that he will protect the Iraqi constitution and comply with all its articles "especially article 140."

However, in the interview with NRT the PM said the article was either written by an "ignorant" person or he inserted the article for no reason or use.

Article 140 sets a roadmap for settling the dispute between Erbil and Baghdad over the tenure of some multiethnic provinces including Kirkuk and Nineveh.

The statement said Maliki's remarks and positions prove that "he did not believe in the constitution in the first place."

It further said that in Aug. 2011 during the conference of the talented and intellectual elite, Maliki described the articles in the constitution as not rights but "bombs..… which exploded day by day."

The statement also documented Malikis' response to the regional autonomy demand issued by Salahaddin Provincial Council as another proof that he does not believe in the constitution.

The PM said that though the government supports federalism but granting regional autonomy to Salahaddin will result in an "unconstitutional division, therefore it's our right to stand against it, because these are all is a start for separation."

The statement thus accused the PM of standing against the identity of the country, "the Iraqi Republic a federal united independent fully sovereign state" as set in the first article of the Iraqi permanent constitution.

According to the second constitutional article Iraq should recognize the new regions formed under the regulations.

"But under what principles Maliki has authorized himself to reject such demand [regional autonomy by Diyala, Salahaddin…]," the statement wrote.

Peshmarga (Kurdistan Border Guards] Issue

The statement said in 2007 Maliki signed the budget law and the Council of Ministers ratified it, too. Now after six years the PM is criticizing the fifth paragraph of the law for funding and empowering peshmarga forces as "unconstitutional".

The same article was repeated in the 2009 budget law, in ninth paragraph; "the PM and Kurdistan's president will agree on expenses [the salaries, armament and empowering] of Kurdistan border guards."

The statement also said Maliki promised the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to fund the salaries of 70,000 peshmarga individuals and the US Vice President Joe Biden and Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani were informed about the content of such promise which was never fulfilled.

The presidential office accused Maliki of violating what he signed and promised by refusing to fund peshmarga and insisting that the force should be funded from the 17% of the budget Kurdistan shares from Iraqi government's total budget.

It also accused Maliki of pretending that the peshamrga' forces are funded by his government.

In a letter to a US high commander in Iraq on April 16, 2010, Maliki thanked the Americans for training peshmarga forces "so that they can protect the security of the region on behalf of the federal government. I support your work for training these forces and for their provision with the US military equipments."

According to the statement 2007 through 2010 the Iraqi Ministry of Defense was allocated some 36،549،066,000,000 IQD from the presidential expenses and the share of Kurdistan peshamrga from this fund equals 6,131,314,000,000 IQD which it has never received.

Presidential office also accused Baghdad of withholding in Taji Base the American military equipments which are intended for Kurdistan.

The statement also criticized the fact that there is no ethnic balance within the ranks of the Iraqi army. The PM, according to the statement, is also trying the impede the formation of two military divisions in Kurdistan.

In response to Maliki's statements in the NRT interview when he said he will not allow for breaking out war in Kurdistan and will safeguard the Kurdish region, the presidential office statement said Maliki is pretending to be more "companionate than Kurdistan leadership" for the Kurdish public.

It reminded the readers that during his visit to Kirkuk on May 8 Maliki issued an alert state for the military divisions in Diyala, Salahaddin, Kirkuk, Erbil and Mosul and stationed two cannon regiments and a military division in southern Kirkuk.

Allegedly the PM also divided these forces on two fronts and ordered to hand over ammunition to the second front.

"He had provided ammunitions for both fronts," the presidential office statement said, wondering if such a move is not war-mongering what else it can be called.

The statement said even the US confirmed that the cannons were directed at Kurdistan Region.

Barzani's office also accused Maliki of behaving "illegally" and running "illegal" constitutions as the suspended Ministry of Defense and the Counter Terrorism institution which Maliki is trying to annex to the domain of his authorities.

Maliki cannot order a policeman in Kurdistan?!

During the interview with the NRT Maliki said that he cannot order to deploy a single policeman in Kurdistan.

Barzani's office refuted the word, saying three peshmarga brigades in three major cities of Kurdistan which comprise 15,000 policemen receive instructions from the PM office and their salaries from Baghdad.

There are also 20,000 additional employees and staff of the Iraqi intelligence and defense ministry in Kurdistan.

The other points of accusation against Maliki in the statement concern his "unilateral" authority in assigning new top military officers, annexing the independent boards to the Council of Ministers, and evading the enforcement of article 140.

In another section the statement expands on the corruption cases conducted in his government as the expensive electricity contracts signed with fake companies.

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