Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Looking to Kurdistan for model of success in Iraq

As the Iraqi government continually seeks ways to resolve the ongoing conflict, Qubad Talabani, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative to the U.S., proposed in an op-ed in The Tennessean Sunday, that Iraq should look to Kurdistan as an example of success. Talabani believes there are three key issues on which success hinges: federalism, Kirkuk, and natural resources.

No long-term, sustainable political settlement is possible without federalism, Talabani says, as a centralized system will fail due to insecurities, lack of trust, and sectarian tensions. “Iraqi Kurdistan, which today stands as a secure and peaceful federal region with its own government, security structure and development plan, is Iraq’s success story,” he said.

Delaying the proposed referendum on Kirkuk will only increase tensions, he said, adding, “It would be prudent to allow the process established by the Iraqis themselves to rectify the injustices committed by the former regime to advance naturally.” Regardless of whether Kirkuk becomes part of Kurdistan, Talabani says that the KRG has confirmed that they do not have any unilateral claims on the Kirkuk oil fields, rather management will be shared by the Iraqi central government and profits shared throughout the country.

Natural resources are one area in which progress is being made. A cooperative agreement between federal and regional authorities has been established. Two different laws (hydrocarbons and revenue-sharing) are already drafted.

“The Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to do all that it can to ensure a viable political solution for Iraq. While it is not fully clear what the future will bring and how Iraq will look, in the success of the Kurdistan region there remains hope for a federal democracy for all of Iraq,” Talabani claimed.

For the full article, click here.


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