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.

 

Hamas armed wing declares end to truce talks in Cairo

Jihadist beheading of US journalist sparks worldwide revulsion

Who will be Turkey’s new leader? All signs point to Davutoglu

German minister accuses Qatar of financing IS

Power cuts and petrol shortages: Life grows increasingly difficult in Libya

Tribal clashes kill dozens of people in troubled Darfur

Dubai real estate giant to repay debt four years ahead

Egypt hopes power cuts could ease next week

Iran provides ‘advice’ to Kurds fighting IS jihadists in Iraq

Suspected attack by Kurdish rebels kills one Turkish soldier

UN launches huge aid operation in northern Iraq

Israel pounds Gaza as mourners cry ‘revenge’

Outgoing first lady breaks silence on ‘falsehoods’ against Turkey President

Ex CIA boss: journalist's killing 'first IS terrorist attack against US

Scores of armed Yemen rebels boost positions in capital

Sinai jihadists punish supporters of Egypt army with decapitation

Germany ready to support Iraq Kurds in battle against ‘barbaric’ IS

Iran’s 'reformist' science minister sacked

Turkey assures Ocalan Kurdish peace process will press ahead

Hollande: international situation ‘most serious’ since 2001

Israeli minister: ‘Deif deserves to die’

US hits back at criticism of Ferguson racial unrest

Jihadists to US: stop air strikes or we will behead second reporter

Temporary Gaza ceasefire goes up in smoke

Islamic State in Syria: Not few brainwashed people but whole army

Egypt to US: Show us how you deal with unrest in Ferguson

Turkey seeks to revive peace talks with Iraq Kurdish rebels

Tit-for-tat attacks break Gaza ceasefire

Huthi rebels cook up ‘armed coup’ in Yemen capital

Flood of weapons in South Sudan: Who’s not to blame?

After morale boosting victory, Iraq forces intensify attacks on IS

Multi-national Arab Bank on trial for supporting terror

Violence-hit Libya gradually boosting oil output

Abbas takes Israel’s report of Hamas coup plot seriously

Saudi Grand Mufti blasts Islamic State as 'enemy No 1' of Islam

Iraqi kurd fighters cannot remember any wars quite like one against IS

Turkey detains more police officers in new eavesdropping probe raid

Lebanon's Hezbollah kills top jihadist in Syria

UN to provide massive aid for 500,000 Iraqis

Iraqi troops launch major operation to retake Tikrit

Abbas to hold talks with emir of Qatar

Kurdish protester shot dead in Turkey clashes

US airlines banned from flying over Syria

US, Syria ‘not on the same page’ in fighting IS

Israeli-Palestinian truce extend by 24 hours