A delegation from the Shiite National Alliance headed by Ammar al-Hakim arrived in the Kurdistan Region on Saturday to meet with Kurdish officials including Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani.
The delegation is visiting to discuss national reconciliation and the future of Mosul following expected capture of the city from the Islamic State.
The Shiite National Alliance launched its project, called the National Settlement aimed at the restructuring of Iraq after the defeat of IS, a year ago.
“The objective behind this initiative is to preserve Iraq and strengthen it as an independent state and as a sovereign, united, federal, and democratic country,” a document from the Alliance reads.
The Alliance’s project rejects the secession of the Kurds, something which the Kurdistan Regional Government’s President and Prime Minister have been demanding more loudly recently.
Visiting Baghdad in September 2016, President Massoud Barzani, following a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said all issues would be resolved through mutual understanding.
The KRG has accused the central government of withholding the region’s budget while Baghdad has said the unilateral sale of oil by the Kurdistan Region parliament is a violation of the agreement between the parties. The disagreement between Erbil and Baghdad has led to mass unemployment and financial turmoil in Kurdistan.
According to a statement by the Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP), Hakim called for resolving the stranded issues between Erbil and Baghdad “within the political settlement initiative and forming a joint political and governmental committee,” to resolve the issues within a new Iraq.
Hakim talked about the coordination between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army in the war against terror, adding that “the joint struggle is the main reason bringing all sides together and helps resolve the disputes.”
Hamid Mueala, the spokesperson for the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, headed by Al-Hakim, and one of the components of the Shiite National Alliance, told Rudaw TV on Sunday that the issue did not feature high in the talks Saturday evening in Erbil.
“It was not discussed in great length,” Mueala said, “It was rather one of the topics, which states that ‘if we did not reach satisfactory solutions [with Baghdad] which would reflect the dreams of the people of Kurdistan, then the issue of independence is one of the options that we may seek.’”
Hakim, who is also the head of the National Alliance, is in the Region promoting the national reconciliation initiative, a document that he has worked on and discussed it with Iraqi parties as well as regional countries for more than a year. Developed by the Shiite National Alliance, it is a plan to rebuild and reunite Iraq after the ISIS.
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