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Iraq’s PM Suggests Joint Administration for Disputed Areas | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani/File Photo

Baghdad– Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for a joint administration of Kirkuk and other disputed areas as the parliament asked the Federal Court to take legal measures against Kurdish MPs who voted for independence from Iraq in last week’s referendum.

At a press conference after a cabinet meeting, Abadi called for the administration of the disputed areas to be “run jointly and by a federal command.”

Abadi hailed the decision of High Authority Ali Sistani, saying it was supportive of Iraq’s unity. He warned against military mobilization in Kirkuk saying it is a dangerous issue, adding that imposing “fait accompli” in the disputed areas (including Kirkuk) by force is unacceptable.

The PM reiterated that the constitution is the reference in negotiations with Kurdistan, adding that the conditions for negotiations is to commit to the constitution and cancel the results of the referendum.

The parliament held a session on Tuesday without the Kurdish MPs.

A parliamentary source said that MPs of Change bloc and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan entered the parliament hall, but several members of the National Alliance contested their presence for their participation in the Kurdish referendum.

The source told Asharq Al-Awsat that members of that National Alliance asked the Kurdish lawmakers to agree to the decisions of the parliament, but they refused to give a written consent.

The parliament voted on a parliamentary decision that adopts principles of Sistani’s statement about the referendum.

National Alliance, which owns the parliamentary majority, issued a decision stating that each Kurdish MP that attends legislative sessions will be considered a supporter of all the decisions issued by the parliament regarding the referendum. Secondly, establish a list of MPs backing the referendum to be submitted to the court for withdrawal of their membership.

Speaker Salim al-Jabouri told a news conference after the session that the parliament decided to collect the names of those who voted in the referendum as a step towards their impeachment by the Higher Federal Court.

Jabouri said he was willing to open a dialogue with Kurdistan Regional Government to resolve disputes but ruled out talks on independence.

The speaker said the parliament’s decisions against those involved in the vote were not a “collective punishment” but rather measures to maintain the unity of the country.

He reiterated the importance of maintaining a united Iraq and committing to the High Religious Authority’s request to deal with the referendum.

Jabouri called on Kurdish MPs to participate in the upcoming parliamentiary sessions, stating that the decisions were based on the constitution.

Prior to the session, Jabouri announced that he will hold a series of calls and talks with a number of Iraqi leaders, including Kurdish officials, to discuss possible solutions for the crisis.

Earlier, Iraqi President Fouad Masoum congratulated Iraqis on the occasion of National Day. He also lauded Sistani’s call to refer to the constitution for all internal disagreements.

He confirmed that he will stick to his efforts to reach solutions for all conflicts between Erbil and Baghdad.