February 12, 2005


Allawi, Kurds Set to Form Coalition: Report: Allawi eyes the influential prime minister post. (Reuters, 2/12/05)

The two main Kurdish parties in Iraq have given their conditional go-ahead for a parliamentary coalition with interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, well-placed Kurdish sources have revealed.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) asked, in swap, for Allawi’s backing for PUK leader Jalal Talabani to be elected president, the sources told Al-Quds Press Friday, February 11.

The Kurds also pressed for an official recognition that the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk, which they reportedly want to be the capital of an enlarged autonomous region, was part of Iraq Kurdistan, the sources added.

During a surprise visit by Allawi to Arbil on Thursday, February 10, Kurdish officials further asked that Arabs in Kirkuk be regarded as “refugees” who must be deported gradually to allow the return of Kurds allegedly forced to leave their homes by the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein.

Allawi nodded enthusiastically to the Kurdish demands in return for backing his hard-fought battle to keep the much-coveted and influential prime minister post.

You have to admire how well the Kurds have manipulated everyone since 1991.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 12, 2005 6:28 PM
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