mardi 8 janvier 2008

Asharq Al-Awsat Interviews Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki

Interview by Mina Al-Oraibi in London
Excerpt :

[Asharq Al-Awsat] How do you assess your relationship with the government of the Kurdistan province, bearing in mind the number of outstanding sensitive issues, such as the Oil Law and the future of Kirkuk, which have to be dealt with this year?

[Al-Maliki] We do not have a problem with any side of the constituents of the Iraqi people. We have good relations with the government of the province, the Kurdish political powers, and the leaders of the Kurdish movement. All these relations are governed by the Constitution and the national interest. When a request or an action that contradicts the national interest or the Constitution comes from the Kurdistan Province Government naturally we object to it. Also if there is an action by the central government that violates the Constitution about a right of the province, we object to it.

Here, I would like to point out that we have woken up from the nightmare of dictatorship, and we would like to compensate quickly for the deprivation that has been inflicted upon the Kurds, the Arabs, the Sunnis, the Shiites, the Turkoman, and the Christians. It is correct to compensate for and lift the injustice and deprivation; however, this has to be within the context of the state efforts, and the Constitution. Therefore, we have no problem with the Kurdistan Province and the Constitution is the arbiter. Yes, there are issues that the Kurds raise, such as Article 140, which is judged to be constitutional, and neither I nor they have the right to go beyond the Constitution.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What about the oil and the oil contracts issue?

[Al-Maliki] Yes, the oil issue also is settled by the Constitution. The oil wealth is the property of the Iraqi people. There are other issues, but every issue should be returned to its roots, which is the Constitution that orders the relationships. As long as we and they adhere to the Constitution, there will be no problems, not only between us and the Kurds, but also between the government and the various other constituents of the Iraqi people.

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