Monday, December 05, 2005

Kerkuk's Status Depends on Iraqi Constitution, not on Barzani

By Zaman Published: Saturday, December 03, 2005

US State Department Deputy Coordinator for Iraq Robert Deutsch said the decision about the ultimate status of Kerkuk (Kirkuk) will be made according to the Iraqi constitution.
Assessing Massoud Barzani’s, the elected president by the regional administration in northern Iraq, statement that “in 2007, Kirkuk will be controlled by the Kurds,” Deutsch said, "I am sure this process to be completed by the end of 2007 will work in favor of all Iraqis."
Deutsch, the undersecretary at the US Embassy in Ankara until a few months ago, met Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Ali Tuygan on Friday.
The American diplomat answering the press members' questions after the meeting said Kirkuk's status will be determined in accordance with the Iraqi constitution. Iraqis are waiting for the implementation of the constitution for the problems to be solved, he said, and the differences to be removed.
When reminded about the terrorist organization Kurdish Workers's Party (PKK) attempts to take part in the upcoming Iraqi elections on December 15, the US diplomat said the Iraqi independent electoral committee makes the decisions about the elections.
People or groups involved with those encouraging violence will not be allowed to join the elections, Deutsch said highlighting the committee's decision. "The electoral committee must practice its rules." Tens of thousands of Iraqis, trained by some US non-governmental organizations, will serve as observers in the December 15 elections.