Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

John Kerry: We Want to Bring Iraq’s Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis Closer Together

By Wladimir van Wilgenburg 7/4/2013
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad, March 24, 2013. Photo: AFP
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad, March 24, 2013. Photo: AFP




ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The United States is engaged in efforts to bring Iraq’s three estranged groups -- the ruling Shiites, minority Sunnis and autonomous Kurds -- closer together, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters last week.

Ten years after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraq remains torn by ethnic and sectarian divisions unleashed by that upheaval.

For weeks the Kurds have boycotted the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, accusing him of violating the constitution over disputed territories and budget allocations. Most Sunni ministers have done likewise, following ongoing large-scale protests by Sunnis, who say their regions are neglected and their politicians targeted by an increasingly authoritarian prime minister.

“We are working on trying to bring the Kurds and the Sunnis together with Prime Minister Maliki in a discussion that, hopefully, can bring people back together and get the democratic process back on track,” Kerry told reporters last Tuesday.

He noted that KRG President Massoud Barzani had not been to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad in about two years, and that Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, from the Sunni bloc, was feeling increasingly marginalized.

“President Barzani has not visited Baghdad in about two years, and increasingly speaker Nujaifi and the Sunnis feel as if they have been pushed away from the governing process,” Kelly said in Washington.

He noted that democracy was difficult, and said he hopes that Maliki will offer the Iraqi people democracy.

“It’s particularly hard work for people who haven’t experienced it ever or recently. And so, we all need to work closely together, which is exactly what we are doing now, with hopes that the prime minister will make the right choices to bring people together, to offer people a united election when it takes place in a few weeks,” Kerry said, referring to the April 20 local polls, in which the three-province Kurdistan Region is not taking part.

The US secretary visited Iraq March 24, to discuss the political process in Iraq and Syria. He called on Maliki to work with the Kurds, and moreover asked the Kurds to end their separate oil deals with neighboring Turkey, which Baghdad says are illegal.
 

Analysts suggest that the US fears that the improved Turkish-Kurdish ties could bring Baghdad even closer to Iran, Washington’s main rival in the region.

A US state department official told reporters in Jordan that Kerry had spoken to Barzani by phone, to emphasize the importance of maintaining Iraq’s unity, and telling the Kurdish leader that separate energy deals “undercut” unity, reminding him that the Kurds cannot survive without the budget allocation they receive from Baghdad.

Kerry also stressed that Erbil and Baghdad should engage, with the help of the United States or other parties, “to think in terms of developing the Iraqi strategic pipeline, that that is the route to prosperity and success for all parts of Iraq,” the official in Jordan added.

He said that the US is pressuring Maliki to stop the postponement of elections in the Sunni-dominated provinces of Anbar and Mosul, where protests have erupted against the Shiite-dominated government.

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the Asharq Alawsat newspaper that during his visit Kerry had focused “on discussing the internal political crisis,” emphasizing that it had the potential to “threaten the whole country.”

The Kurdish government says that Baghdad owes it more than $3.5 billion to cover the costs of oil companies in the Kurdistan Region, but the Iraqi government says the contracts are illegal.

Moreover, there are disputes between the Kurds and the Iraqi government over control of disputed regions that are claimed by both sides, as well as over salaries for Kurdish soldiers.

In a March 20 message to mark the Kurdish New Year, Newroz, Barzani declared that the Kurds are ready for dialogue with Baghdad.

Comments

 
Luqman | 8/4/2013
in actuality in this Iraq every thing is expected in any moment so i believe no one will have a right point of view. many thanks for your website Luqman A. A.
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 8/4/2013
I beleive that this mission would be impossible, as the US can not solve the Palestinian & Isreali issues in the region. Unless the Assad in Syria is soon failed and Iran will be weakend very soon.
Tags :
Print Email to a friend
Save this story
1173 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Kurdish Mandela | 9/2/2014 5:42:05 PM
#ISIS is making bad image for Araps. Arabs must stand up and condemn #IS and stand by Kurds. ISIS abuse women, children, principles, ethic, Islam and...
Kurdistan2014 | 9/2/2014 9:31:03 PM
People people and people ... One thing we all kurds have to understand .. No One is going to stand by us and fight against those creaturs , we are on...
Sold into Sex and a Widow at 19
| yesterday at 04:52 | (25)
Max | 9/2/2014 9:20:52 PM
This is by no means about right or wrong or morales. No country has any problem with ppk except turkey. The only reason pkk is on this list is...
Max | 9/2/2014 9:29:31 PM
@Honest John, u have grains of truth in what u say. But u r very wrong. How would u fight against natos 4th (or 2nd?)largest army? Where would u get...
Should US Remove PKK From Its Terrorist List?
| 14 hours ago | (23)
Anas.Brwari.Chicago.U.S. | 8/29/2014 12:32:20 AM
No one have to trust those Arab tribs who occupied kurdish land during successive Iraqi government through Arabazation policy they have two faces...
Suleyman beq | 9/2/2014 9:10:06 PM
Kurds who where baathist during Saddam regime are now so called pdk's. They are baathist and never will be trustfull. It is a big shame that they can...
Barzani: Collaborators with Extremists Will Be Held Accountable
| 28/8/2014 | (11)
kurt bashar | 9/2/2014 9:07:27 PM
What do you expect from the Sunni/Salafi Mullah the Mr. Tayib Erdogan? he made the Turkish republic another Afghanistan with advise of his teacher,...
Turkey and the Islamic State Challenge
| 5 hours ago | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

State Department: US Has no Ban on Oil Sales from Any Part of Iraq 1/8/2014 | (27)

State Department: US Has no Ban on Oil Sales from Any Part of Iraq

“Iraq’s energy resources belong to all of the more
Israel’s Assaults: Self-defense or Aggression? 31/7/2014 | (35)

Israel’s Assaults: Self-defense or Aggression?

Over the past three weeks, the Israeli military more
Barzani: America, Turkey will not block Kurdish independence 6/7/2014 | (86)

Barzani: America, Turkey will not block Kurdish independence

Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s autonomous more
0.203 seconds