Nouri Al-Maliki visits Kerkuk

May 8, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraq’s PM Pays Visit to Ethnically-mixed Kirkuk
    2012-05-08 21:00:28     Xinhua       Web Editor: liuranran
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Tuesday paid a visit to the ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk, confirming that the city’s problem can only be solved by preserving its identity as Iraqi one.

“The problem of Kirkuk cannot be resolved by force and interference, but by the will of its people and by keeping its Iraqi identity” a statement by Maliki’s offices quoted him as saying during the cabinet meeting in the city.

The ethnically-mixed province of Kirkuk and its capital Kirkuk city are part of disputed areas between the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkomans. The area has long been a hotbed of insurgency since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Early in the morning, Maliki arrived at a military airport in Kirkuk accompanied by a number of his ministers. Hours later, the prime minister held a cabinet meeting attended by top officials in the city, some 250 km north of Baghdad.

It is the second time for Maliki’s Council of Ministers to conduct its meetings outside Baghdad. The previous one was in Iraq ‘s southern city of Basra earlier in the year.

Such a move by the Iraqi cabinet was said to be an attempt by Maliki to bring close his ministers to Kirkuk’s provincial leaders to discuss public services, security and political issues.

“Kirkuk has special characters because it represents a microcosm of Iraq and an example of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among all Iraqis,” Maliki said.

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