9:00 AM ADMIN
Kirkuk/ Iraq TradeLink: The "yes" voting on hoisting the Kurdish flag on Kirkuk governmental
departments, despite the boycotting of the Arabs and Turkmen, will start an new crisis between Baghdad, Arbil and Ankara.
Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi regarded hoisting the Kurdish flag in Kirkuk's governmental building is a matter "contrary to the Iraqi constitution", stressing that Baghdad "rejects all unilateral decisions".
He pointed that Kirkuk province is still under the question of the disputed areas, but it is still under central government's jurisdiction and no other flag should be hoisted except for the Iraqi national flag.
Hadithi added that the Iraqi constitution clarified the authorities of the local provincial government "and Kirkuk is one of these province, so hoisting the Kurdish flag is unconstitutional".
On the other side, the Turkish foreign ministry expressed its "deep concern" for hoisting the Kurdish flag and regarded it as a violation of the Iraqi constitution.
"Hoisting the Kurdish flag beside the Iraqi is wrong and we feel concerned about it", the ministry added.
The Kurdish areas outside the Kurdish region expressed their support of Kirkuk provincial decision on hoisting the flag, regarding this as "a historical day" for the people of the province, which should be made "before many years".
Political analysts believe that Kirkuk's decision, without the approval of the Arabs and the Turkmen, was motivated as a message for "geographical balance", to divide Kirkuk's oil with the Kurdish region as part of the status quo policy, to preserve the power of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Sulaimaniya after the rise of Kurdish Goran Movement, to stir attention on the differences between the two factions of the Kurdish National Union Party (KNUP), the failure of the KNUP to reach to understanding with the federal government and isolating the Arab and Turkmen components from the visions of KNUP chief Jalal Talabani.
Kirkuk Provincial Council agreed, last Tuesday, with majority, to hoist the Kurdish flag on the governmental buildings, but the Arab and Turkmen 7 members were absent from the voting.