Iraqi Arabs and Kurds and lost opportunities

Print Friendly

By Fatih Abdulsalam

Azzaman, December 14, 2013

Whenever it is time to prepare for general elections in Iraq, Arab and Kurdish differences are highlighted. The sides differ on numerous issues, most outstanding is the one related to oil exports from the Kurdish region.

But this important and crucial file, which should have been solved long time ago, has been deferred to the next parliament. Current Iraqi parliamentarians did not have the time to debate a new oil law to regulate the development of the country’s oil riches, their export and royalties.

Arab and Kurdish coexistence is shaky. The use of diplomatic niceties and charm offensives have done no good so far.

Iraq is in the midst of a constitutional crisis. It is passing through a dangerous stage in which the existence of absence of binding laws and constitution are the same.

It is not correct to defer issues detrimental to coexistence and reconciliation in the country to after the general elections in the hope that the winners might have better ideas to settle problems.

The delay in settling issues preventing Arabs and Kurds from adopting a course of reconciliation and coexistence is a signal of political bankruptcy an ineptness.

The issues driving the sides apart are too important and risky to be deferred as they relate to the so-called disputed areas and the exploitation of natural resources.

Any government or party not shouldering their responsibility to address these issues cannot be said to be working for the country’s national interests. In fact one can say that they are committing treason.

Arabs and Kurds as well as their political leaders must understand that conditions in the country are worsening with violence surging with the start of this year and no sign of it abetting.

National honor and commitment require the parties to declare a ‘roadmap’ to settle outstanding issues.

The country’s conditions cannot stand a situation in which the central government in Baghdad and the regional government in Arbil are at loggerheads.

Today’s problems, as we enter the 21st century, cannot and should not be addressed through the mentality of military strongmen.

The central government must look positively at the situation in Iraqi Kurdish north which has been relatively quiet and prosperous in comparison with the rest of the country.

Today, there are good opportunities to reach agreements that will preserve national unity and integrity and usher in a new era of coexistence, reconciliation and peace between Baghdad and Arbil.

The conditions available now might not be there for the central government in a few years from now due to local and regional transformations.