Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Tuesday no bargains will be offered with Kurds over Kirkuk to get them to join the quartet alliance to form the new Iraqi government, saying "Kirkuk is not on the table for discussion".
A joint delegation of lawmakers visited Erbil on Monday for talks with Kurdish leaders on joining the largest parliamentary bloc that would form the new Iraqi government.
The delegation includes figures from Iraq's Sairoon Alliance led by Shi’ite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, the Nasr Coalition of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the Wisdom Bloc of Ammar al-Hakim and the National Coalition led by Vice President Ayad Allawi.
Briefly after arriving in the Kurdistan region,
the delegation launched talks with officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party
and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) that have a total of 43 seats in the
The delegation consists of Nassar al-Rubaie and Jassem al-Hilfi from the alliance of Sairoon, Adnan al-Zarafi, Khalid al-Obeidi of the Nasr Coalition, Ahmad al-Fatlawi and Abdullah al-Zaidi from the Wisdom bloc, along with Kazem al-Shammari and Raad al-Dahlaki of the National Coalition.
They met with Former Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani.
The talks between the two sides aim to establish a majority that guarantees the formation of a government capable of facing the country’s current challenges.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s new parliament will meet next week for the first time since the May elections.
The inaugural session of the 329-seat chamber
would be chaired by its oldest member, President Fuad Masum said in a decree
calling for the sitting to take place on September 3.
The meeting of parliament was delayed by allegations of fraud that prompted the supreme court to order a partial manual recount of the results of the May 12 election.