A move that could lead to a landmark agreement between Baghdad and Kurdistan on the conflict zones
12/18/2018

According to a report by the Crisis Group website on controversial issues around the world, after the Iraqi army's control of the conflict areas with Erbil, the United Nations must take advantage of the current calm to prepare for negotiations on those areas.

The report draws attention to the reaction of the Iraqi government to a referendum in 2017, on the independence of the Kurdistan region, and how Iraqi forces recovered areas disputed by the control of Kurdish parties.

This incident shows that the dispute over Kirkuk and its oil fields could reignite again.

A failed mediation
report writer believes that the United Nations is supposed to revive mediation aborted a year ago, working with regional and international partners to bring the parties back to the negotiating table, and the settlement of issues divide them, especially with regard to the disputed areas.

Amid violent unrest in the Middle East, Iraq has finally reached safety.

Although some remnants continued to provoke unrest in rural areas north of Baghdad, the organization was lost and uprooted from its strongholds.

Despite low participation in parliamentary elections and allegations of fraud, those elections resulted in a new Iraqi government. Also conducted the Kurdistan region elections, and is working today to form a government.

Initially, the
report's author believes that the new administrations in Baghdad and Erbil and the appointment of a special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Iraq offer a start to boldly move to settle one of the most contentious and contentious issues in Iraq.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) conducted a comprehensive study in 2008-2009 on disputed areas, which could be a starting point for final negotiations and could lead to a new initiative towards a political settlement consistent with the Iraqi constitution.

The conflict includes a region with a mix of sects and ethnicities, and huge oil and gas reserves, including the first oil field discovered in Iraq, in and around the city of Kirkuk. Kurds, because of the great Kurdish majority, want to annex those areas to the Kurdistan region.

But successive governments in Baghdad have rejected that proposal strongly, recognizing that the KRG may use the Kirkuk oil to finance a viable independent Kurdish state.

The conflict over the sovereignty of Iraqi territory may then be concentrated. According to the report.

Oil revenues
In the opinion of the writer, there is no need for that conflict. Regardless of the final status of the territory of Kurdistan, and as, according to the Iraqi constitution, a federal region, it must be agreed on internal borders with the rest of Iraq.

If Baghdad and Erbil could find a formula for sharing Iraq's oil revenues, including Kirkuk oil, that border post would become less politically sensitive.

In fact, a study by UNAMI revealed that a number of residents of these areas prefer a special "inter-agreement" that will preserve diversity and harmony between regions.

This requires a series of power-sharing and joint security agreements, as well as a comprehensive oil-revenue sharing deal between the federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq.

The report says that at the local level, growing support for a new attempt to settle the issue of the border between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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