Kurdish parties back UN resolution

The Kurdish parliament has endorsed the new UN Security Council resolution on Iraq after political leaders earlier expressed anger over the document's failure to mention Kurdish self-rule.

    Kurdish deputy Roj Nuri Shawis announced the new position

    A special session of the Kurdish parliament had been called on Friday to examine Resolution 1546 adopted earlier in the week, which omitted any reference to Iraq's interim constitution or Kurdish aspirations for autonomy.

    The Kurdish parliament, which groups the two main Kurdish factions, Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union for Kurdistan, convened in Arbil, 350km north of the capital.

    "The Kurdish parliament has decided to adopt a positive position towards the UN Security Council resolution because the entire world has expressed its respect for the fundamental law," said Roj Nuri Shawis, a vice-president in Iraq's caretaker government and the Kurdish parliament speaker.

    Shawis said Iraq's president, Sunni tribal shaikh Ghazi al-Yawir, and prime minister Iyad Allawi, a secular pro-US Shia, "had indicated they were committed to the fundamental law, and during his recent European tour, US President George Bush expressed his commitment to this law".

    Special meeting

    "The Americans did not come here to give us federalism but for their own interests. Let's call on the Kurds to stay in government and reinforce our alliances"

    Haidar al-Shaikh Ali,
    Kurdish Transport Minister

    "Iraq will continue to adhere to the fundamental law until elections are held, following a referendum on the constitution at the end of 2005," Shawis told reporters after the parliament
    session, which lasted about 90 minutes.

    The Kurdish parliament groups 105 deputies: 51 members of the KDP, 49 members of the PUK and five Christians.

    The special meeting was also attended by 25 other parties ranging from communists to Islamists.

    'Pessimistic'

    "The Americans did not come here to give us federalism but for their own interests. Let's call on the Kurds to stay in government and reinforce our alliances," said Kurdish Transport Minister Haidar al-Shaikh Ali.

    Others were more concerned.

    Ahmad Sharif, a PUK member, said he was "pessimistic about the future".

    "I am afraid about the Arab parties' positions towards the Kurds," he said.

    Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani had issued a joint statement on Tuesday saying that if Iraq did not stay faithful to Kurdish autonomy, Iraq's Kurdish north would quit the new Iraqi Government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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