ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Parliament and Council of Ministers continue to discuss the conditions under which candidates can nominate themselves for the post of ambassadors, with Kurds to take on 12 ambassadorial posts out of Iraq’s 70 missions abroad, according to a lawmaker.
There are disagreements between both sides, namely regarding the age requirements for candidates, Kurdish lawmaker from Iraq’s Foreign Parliamentary committee, Bayar Doski, told the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) on Monday.
“The Foreign Ministry wants candidates to be no older than 55, and we argue that Iraqi law allows candidates to nominate themselves for foreign service until the age of 63,” Doski said.
He stated the issue has until the end of August to be resolved, at which point candidates should be nominated and approved for their diplomatic postings.
Out of Iraq’s total 70 current ambassadors, eight of them are Kurds: Bakir Fatah (Austria), Ahmed Barwari (China), Burhan Namiq (Nairobi), Bakir Ahmed Jaff (Ukraine), Shorish Khalid Saeed (Greece), Omar Barzinji (Qatar), Saywan Barzani (Portugal), Ahmed Bamarni (Italy), and Hazim al-Yousifi, Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs and Multilateral Relations, a post that plays an ambassadorial role.
Doski noted that in the new term, the number of Kurdish ambassadors representing Iraq abroad would increase to 12, with the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) holding most of the posts.
The relationship between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq was heavily strained following the Kurdistan Region’s unilateral referendum on independence in Sep. 2017, which saw a landslide majority favoring statehood.
Ties have improved over the past year, namely after the formation of the new federal government headed by Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
Both governments have agreed to peacefully resolve their long-standing disputes within the framework of the Constitution of Iraq.
Editing by Nadia Riva
CORRECTION: A previous version of this report misspelled the names of the Kurdish ambassadors. A correction has since been issued.