Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat – Kurdistan Alliance MP Mahmoud Othman told Asharq Al-Awsat that the National Alliance which is made up of Ammar al-Hakim’s Iraqi National Alliance and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition, has endorsed all of the 19-points put forward by Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani with regards to the formation of Iraq’s next government. However Othman revealed that Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc objects to some of the Kurdish demands, particularly the points dealing with Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution and the Peshmerga. Article 140 calls on areas with large Kurdish population outside of the Kurdistan Region to hold referendums to decide whether they will join the Kurdistan Region.
Othman told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the Kurdish leadership requires the agreement on the Kurdish negotiating document that is made up of 19 points prior to the announcement of the formation of the forthcoming government otherwise the Kurds will not participate in this government.” He added that “the signing [of this 19-point document] has been delayed due to the participation of Kurdish negotiator Dr. Rose Nuri Shaways in his party’s conference, and the preoccupation of other party’s members with their consultation on ministerial portfolios which have yet to be resolved, therefore we expect the signing of this document to take place next week.”
Othman added that “the Iraqiya bloc continues to reject the two issues relating to Article 140 and the issue of the Peshmerga force. As for Article 140, they want this Article not to be mentioned in the signed agreement, with this instead being substituted with a reference to the problem of the disputed areas being solved constitutionally. As for the issue of the Peshmerga, they believe that so long as the Peshmerga receive their salaries, budget, and military equipment from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, they should take their orders directly from the Ministry, rather than anybody else.”