The two major Iraqi Kurdish parties reached a consensus on appointing a Kurdish governor for Kirkuk at a significant meeting on Sunday, highlighting the need for a united front in safeguarding the Kurdistan Region’s achievements and stability.
Earlier this morning, a high-level delegation from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was greeted in Sulaymaniyah (Silêmanî) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, by Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) President Bafıl Talabani, setting the stage for significant discussions on the political and economic landscape of the Kurdistan Region.
The meeting, according to the PUK website, focused on addressing unresolved matters with the Iraqi federal government, particularly concerning the budget, livelihoods and public sector worker salaries, and placed an emphasis on the collaborative spirit between the two major Kurdish parties.
The dialogue extended to the Iraqi provincial council elections, where both parties, after thorough deliberation, agreed on the necessity of appointing a Kurdish governor for Kirkuk province to serve its diverse communities. This statement, issued after the meeting, emphasises a unified effort to safeguard the integrity of the Kurdistan Region and honour the legacy of the Kurdish martyrs.
Efforts to resolve political and economic disputes with the federal government were also highlighted, with both parties committing to overcoming challenges related to general matters, services, the budget and salaries.
The KDP and PUK consensus on nominating a Kurdish governor for Kirkuk comes amid heightened scrutiny of the KDP’s interactions with Turkey, especially following a meeting between Masoud Barzani of the KDP and Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) head Ibrahim Kalın in Erbil (Hewlêr).
This meeting has fuelled speculation about the KDP’s involvement with Turkey not only in its military operations against the PKK in northern Iraq but also in relation to a potential negotiation on Kirkuk.
Despite these speculations and Turkey’s efforts to influence regional dynamics, the agreement between the KDP and PUK on Kirkuk’s governance marks a significant Kurdish initiative, independent of external influences, reinforcing Kurdish unity and autonomy in the face of regional challenges.