Iraqi parliament speaker tells those wanting to ‘divide’ Iraq to seek life in exile
The speaker of the Iraqi parliament has said that they are standing in full force against any project that seeks to turn Iraq into “small states” telling people who want to do so should seek life elsewhere.
“Iraq is one and will not be divided and anyone who seeks life outside this country should start looking for another country,” Salim al-Jabouri said in a conference in Baghdad held for Iraqi Turkmens and attended by other Iraqi politicians including Ammar al-Hakim, the head of the ruling Shiite National Alliance.
“We will be absolutely against any idea of dividing or disintegrating the country under any name of excuse by this party or that hiding behind and using the constitution to justify their ambitions and turning Iraq into small states at the mercy of regional wolves,” the Sunni politician added, not mentioning any one party.
The remarks come amid the Kurdistan Region’s plans to hold an independence referendum later this year and a project by some Sunni politicians from Mosul including Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi who recently called for a regional government in Nineveh similar to that of the Kurdistan Region.
“We aren’t against any concessions granted by the constitution,” Jabouri added. “But in the meantime we put in our calculations the best interests of our country and its unity against any project harming the country and we will defend this with all our powers.”
He called for the implementation of the long-discussed National Reconciliation document set forward by Hakim, the National Alliance leader who stated in late December that his group’s initiative also includes the Kurdistan Region.
Hakim has been working on the project for more than a year and he has met with Iraqi parties and sought the support of neighboring and regional countries like Iran and Jordan as well the Arab league.
The initiative’s core principle is to build future relations between Iraq’s different religious and ethnic communities and political parties after the defeat of the ISIS.
“The objective behind this initiative is to preserve Iraq and strengthening it as an independent state as a sovereign, united, federal, and democratic country,” the document from the alliance reads.
However, Hakim’s document says that Iraqis, including the Kurds, should not “divide” Iraq under any circumstances.
“Faith and commitment in word and deed of the unity of Iraq’s land and people and preserve the sovereignty and independence of the decision and its identity and its parliamentary democratic system and reject dividing it under any circumstance,” the document reads.