ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region's top official on Monday criticized Baghdad for cherry-picking its implementation of the Iraqi Constitution.
“Our efforts to launch dialogue and resolve issues peacefully with Baghdad continue,” the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, told reporters in Erbil.
He complained Baghdad was being selective in their implementation of the Constitution of Iraq, saying the Sep. 25 referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region would not have happened had Baghdad respected and fully implemented all articles of the Iraqi Constitution.
“The Constitution of Iraq is not a menu from which to pick your favorite items,” Barzani said. “It is a package deal where all of its articles are meant to be implemented.”
Kurdish officials have repeatedly criticized the Federal Government of Iraq for violating over 50 articles in the Constitution of Iraq and treating the people in the Kurdistan Region as second-class citizens, an accusation Baghdad rejects.
“We need a third party present during talks between Erbil and Baghdad to ensure the Iraqi Constitution is respected and implemented,” the Kurdish Premier added.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated since the Sep. 25 independence vote in the Kurdistan Region that saw 93 percent of voters favoring secession.
He noted that the military option cannot resolve the current issues between Erbil and Baghdad and that only constructive dialogue within the framework of the constitution would lead to peace.
“Stability in Iraq cannot be achieved without implementing the constitution. It cannot be achieved by picking winners and losers,” Barzani emphasized.
Editing by Nadia Riva