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Thursday, July 10, 2008 1:29:46 PM

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Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution is related to the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas.

UN official in Arbil, meets Kurdish parliament's speaker

Arbil - Voices of Iraq
Thursday , 10 /07 /2008 Time 6:58:54

ARBIL, July 10 (VOI) - The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq Staffan de Mistura arrived in Arbil on Thursday to discuss the disputed districts issue and his recommendations within this context, a source from Kurdistan's Parliament said.

"De Mistura met with Adnan al-Mufti, speaker of the Kurdish Parliament, and will hold a press conference later," the source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).
In early June, de Mistura presented a number of recommendations on four disputed districts to the Iraqi government. The UN official recommended that Akra and Makhmour districts be administered by the Kurds, and al-Hamdaniya and Mandali districts by the central government.
Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution is related to the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas.
Kurds seek to include the city in the autonomous Iraq's Kurdistan region, while Sunni Muslims, Turkmen, and Shiites oppose the incorporation. The article currently stipulates that all Arabs in Kirkuk be returned to their original locations in southern and central Iraqi areas, and formerly displaced residents returned to Kirkuk, 250 km northeast of Baghdad. The article also calls to conduct a census to be followed by a referendum to let the inhabitants decide whether they would like Kirkuk to be annexed to the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region or having it as an independent province.
These stages were supposed to end on December 31, 2007, a deadline that was later extended to six months to end in July 2008.
Mohammed Ihsan, the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's minister for disputed areas' affairs, said last month "De Mistura's suggestion is unfair, and was amended without first informing us."
"The proposal which suggests annexing Qaraj district (14 km north of Makhmour suburb) to Mosul instead of Arbil is unjust," he added.
Makhmour, 68 km southwest of Arbil, is one of the districts administratively disputed by Arbil, 349 km northeast of Baghdad, and Ninewa, 405 km northeast of the Iraqi capital.

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