First Published: 2003-12-29

Barzani: Power transfer accord must be revised

KDP leader says 'Kurdish rights' must be part of power transfer agreement signed between coalition, Governing Council.


Middle East Online

We want a federation: Barzani

BAGHDAD - Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), called for revising the power transfer agreement signed between the US-led coalition and Iraq's interim Governing Council to recognise "Kurdish rights", a KDP newspaper said Monday.

"The November 15 accord must be revised and 'Kurdish rights' within an Iraqi federation must be mentioned," Barzani reportedly told a meeting of his supporters.

"The Kurds are today in a powerful position but must continue the struggle to guard their unity," he said.

"We want a federation and this is one of the basic demands of our people," he said, adding that the "armed struggle is over and now is the time for polls."

On Saturday Barzani told a visiting Arab League delegation not to oppose Kurds in their drive to win their rights because "Kurds and the Arabs are allies and not enemies."

The November 15 agreement calls for setting up a national assembly by the end of May 2004 that will put in place a caretaker government by June which in turn will draft a new constitution and hold national elections.

The Kurds are a majority in northeastern Iraq, where they held an autonomous region protected by US and British warplanes for a dozen years from the 1991 Gulf War to the overthrow this year Iraqi president Saddam Hussein by US-led forces.


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