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PM Barzani Conveys “Deep Concern” over Ongoing Arabization Policies in Disputed Areas

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has expressed “deep concerns” over the ongoing policies which aim to change the demography of the Kurdish areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, saying they are extensions to Baath Regime’s Arabization campaign against Kurds.

PM Barzani sent the message in a statement on Tuesday, after several Kurdish villages in Kirkuk province were stormed by Arabs from southern Iraq who claim the agricultural lands of the indigenous Kurdish population.

“We are monitoring with great concern the situation in the Kurdistani areas outside the jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Region, especially in Kirkuk province, where systematic Arabization and demographic change continues. It is the repetition of the same Arabization policy by the previous regimes against the Kurdish people of these areas,” PM Barzani said.

He further explained that the policies against the Kurds are taking place in a democratic Iraq where the Constitution has set the framework for a solution to the disputed territories.

The Kurdish leader strongly denounced any Arabization campaign against the Kurds, saying the Kurdistan Regional Government will not accept such policies.

“To address this issue, a delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government is tasked to visit Baghdad. We call on the federal government to take the necessary measures in accordance with its constitutional power to prevent some local administrations from extending such policies,” reads the statement.

The KRG prime minister also urged the federal government to prevent the armed forces of Iraq from being involved in such actions while the disputes over these areas should only be resolved based on the Constitution.

He also called on the UN special representative to Iraq to take immediate action and prevent violations by local administrations against the indigenous people of the disputed areas.

“Enforcing such policies and behaviors threatens peace in these areas, which goes against our hope for peaceful coexistence between all the components there,” PM Barzani added.