First Published: 2013-01-20

 

Maliki trades blame with Barzani for ongoing political row

 

Iraq Premier, Kurdish leader issue rival statements, with Barzani accusing Maliki of increasing crisis through neglect, threats.

 

Middle East Online

About two years ago

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the leader of the Kurdish region traded barbs on Sunday, each blaming the other for an ongoing political crisis amid weeks of anti-government protests.

The two issued rival statements in the latest in a series of disputes that have hardened opposition against Maliki and pitted him against several of his erstwhile government partners, including Iraq's main Kurdish political faction, who accuse him of authoritarianism and sectarianism.

"The federal government... has increased the crisis through neglect and threats that have led to dangerous consequences," Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani said in a statement issued late on Saturday.

"Iraq has, for a long time, been going through a major crisis because of the neglect of services for citizens, and not implementing the constitution and agreements."

Barzani also backed "the legitimate demands" of demonstrators in mostly Sunni areas of Iraq who have for weeks railed against the Shiite-led authorities for allegedly holding members of their community without charge and misusing anti-terror laws to target Sunnis.

Maliki, meanwhile, issued his own statement on Sunday in which he expressed surprise at Barzani's statement, which he said "reveals a desire to hinder dialogue among the Iraqi people and components, and revive ugly sectarian strife."

"It seems that these factions do not like to see agreement between Iraqis," he said, in the statement issued by his office.

Iraq's protests began on December 23 in mostly Sunni areas of Iraq, sparked by the arrest of at least nine of Finance Minister Rafa al-Essaw's guards. The longest-running demonstration has blocked a key highway linking Baghdad to Jordan and Syria.

The rallies have hardened opposition towards Maliki, a Shiite, who is at loggerheads with Sunni, Kurd and Shiite members of his national unity government.

The crisis comes with barely three months to go before provincial elections, a key barometer of support for the premier and his opponents ahead of a general election next year.

 

Iran back to high enrichment 'in 5 days' if US quits nuclear deal

UN urges Iraq to do more for IS sex abuse victims

Taliban warns Afghanistan will become 'graveyard' for US

Two North Korean shipments to Syrian chemical weapons program intercepted

Algerian ‘bikini rebellion’ may be hype but harassment isn’t

Lebanon army says in final stage of IS border battle

Spanish town Ripoll reels from discovery of it’s young jihadists

Jordan opens first job centre in Syrian refugee camp

Outrage in Morocco over sexual assault video

Former Libyan premiere Ali Zeidan still held by kidnappers

Syria opposition talks in Riyadh end with no breakthrough

Erdogan vows to prevent Kurdish ‘terror corridor’ in Syria

Iraqi troops recapture first two districts from IS bastion

UN says thousands fleeing Tel Afar amid anti-IS offensive

Second round of Kurdish referendum talks could happen next week

Dozens killed in coalition strikes as US-backed forces advance in Raqa

German foreign minister says Erdogan backers threatened his wife

Turkey arrests former national goalkeeper for ‘coup links’

Iran in negotiations to unblock Twitter

Yemeni FM says Iran 'part of the problem' in Yemen

On the trail of Spain's attackers

Mattis in Baghdad to support Iraqi forces

Erdogan critic stunned Turkey's 'long arm' reached Spain

Spanish police shoot dead man who could be Barcelona attacker

Iraqi forces close in on last IS bastion in country’s north

Kuwait arrests 13 fugitives in Iran-linked terror case

Qatar blocks planes from transporting pilgrims

Erdogan says joint op with Iran against Kurds ‘on the agenda’

Barcelona attack fugitive ‘dangerous, possibly armed’ warn police

Lebanese president ratifies public sector wage rise, tax hike

Young Syrian refugees want end of war and ISIS

Lebanon army advances against IS in border battle

Spanish police say driver of Barcelona rampage van identified

Toxic politics in Italy, Libya further complicate migration problem

Russia destroys large column of IS fighters in Syria

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call