Barzani: Iraqi Kurdistan Will Only Remain in Iraq If Govt. Abides by Constitution

'The Kurdish People Will Not Live Under Dictatorship'

by Jason Ditz, September 23, 2012

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani is once again hinting at the prospects of secession today, saying in a high profile speech in Rome that Kurdistan will only remain a part of federal Iraq so long as the national government abides by the Constitution.

“The Kurdish people will not live under dictatorship,” Barzani insisted, warning that the regional government would not stand idly by while the central government “moves toward dictatorship and monocracy.”

Barzani has raised the prospect of secession in previous comments, and has regularly criticized Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his efforts to centralize power under his control, while attempt to undermine Kurdistan’s semi-independent status.

The Maliki government has been in a very public clash with the KRG over oil deals, while a close Maliki aide has also called for the government to forcibly disarm the KRG’s independent militia, the Peshmearga.

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