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Kurdistan Speaker Warns of Mosul Clashes
War of Words over Pesh Merga Deployment in Ninewa Province
06/12/2009 8:59 PM ET
As clashes broke out in the northern Iraqi province of Ninewa between Kurdish militia forces and guards in the employ of the predominantly Arab al-Hadba’ party, the head of the Kurdistan Parliament has denied remarks made earlier by Iraqi MP Usama al-Najifi regarding potential fighting in Mosul between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga forces in the province.

Adnan al-Mufti, the speaker in the regional parliament of the Kurdistan Autonomous Zone in northern Iraq said that there “will not be any confrontations between the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga,” adding that “it is incumbent on all to remain committed to the constitution.

However, al-Mufti defended the deployment of Peshmerga forces in Ninewa Province, which non-Kurdish residents of the province have viewed as provocative. “Everyone must know that it is the right of the Kurdistan Regional Government to be present in the areas where there are Kurds present,” he said in an interview with al-Malaf Press.

The Kurdistan parliament leader warned against the outbreak of clashes between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces due to the “dangerousness of the situation in Ninewa Province, especially since Kurdish forces refused to permit the Iraqi Army to enter some of the areas” where they operate.

As for remarks issued recently by the deputy Iraqi interior minister Adnan al-Asadi, who said that the deployment of Peshmerga Forces in the areas around Mosul is not legal, al-Mufti said, “This is his personal opinion, but there are mechanisms and we have representatives in Baghdad and there is a a parliament, all of these people can take decisions but one person cannot decide through his remarks here and there.”

The Iraqi MP Usama al-Najifi announced recently that talks between the predominantly Arab al-Hadba’ list and the Ninewa Brotherhood list over the division of power have failed and it is up to the Kurds to recognize the borders of Ninewa Province, and it is the Ninewa Provincial government that should control all areas of the province within its pre-2003 borders.”

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