The majority of the Kirkuk provincial council members have rejected proposals to hold their meetings in Baghdad or Erbil, stressing that no progress made towards the appointment of a new governor for Kirkuk and the normalization of the situation in the province.
The idea of holding a provincial council meeting in Baghdad has surfaced in the past few days in the media citing a number of Iraqi MPs; however, amid denial by Kirkuk councilors.
Ahmed Askari, councilor and member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan democratic Party (KDP) joint committee negotiating with the diverse components of Kirkuk concerning the normalization of the situation in the province, told KirkukNow that a Baghdad meeting was not on the table, indicating that the “negotiations have not come to an end.”
Meanwhile, Qasim Hamza, a Turkmen member of the council emphasized the need for more talks on the issue, describing any meeting outside Kirkuk as “illegitimate.”
He criticized the sluggish progress achieved in the efforts to normalize the situation in Kirkuk and the appointment of a new governor.
On July 11, 2019, the PUK and the KDP nominated Tayyib Jabar (a Kurd) as their joint candidate for the position of governor and formed a special committee to hold talks with the Arab and Turkmen factions in the province.
Ma’an Hamdani, member of the Arab bloc in the provincial council, speaking to KirkukNow, said, “Unless trust between the different components of the province is restored, an agreement is distant.”
He described the council’s talks to normalize the situation in Kirkuk as critical.
Jamal Shukur, an Iraqi MP has reaffirmed to KirkukNow that “a council meeting is due to be held in Baghdad soon to reach agreement on the security, military, administrative, political and agriculture dossiers.”