Kurds to Maliki: ‘You Are Not Welcome!’
|July 26, 2014||Filled under Maliki News|
Maliki News –
Many Kurds are up in arms against a planned visit to Kurdistan Friday by Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s embattled caretaker prime minister who Erbil blames for pushing the country into its current crisis.
The Shiite premier is especially unpopular among the Kurds for squeezing Erbil on oil policies and imposing a virtual economic siege since February, forcing Kurdish civil servants to go unpaid for months.
“I never like him to come to this city, he has cut off the salaries of people,” said a man from Sulaimani after hearing about Maliki’s expected visit. “He should be pelted with stones as soon as he gets off the plane.”
Maliki is expected in the city of Sulaimani, according to a senior leader of his Shiite coalition, to ask about the health of Jalal Talabani, the former Iraqi president who returned last weekend from a year-and-a-half in Germany recuperating from a stroke.
The embattled prime minister, who defiantly insists on a third term, has antagonized Kurds, Sunnis and some of his Shiite allies, who all accuse him of authoritarianism, favoritism and incompetence. The last straw for the Kurds was when Maliki froze monthly budget payments early this year.
On a visit to the Iraqi capital on Thursday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Baghdad and Erbil to reconcile.
Some angry Sulaimani residents demanded Maliki’s trip be cancelled. Others said his plane should not be allowed to land.
“If I have six people with me I will prevent him from coming because he has made the situation so dire and has taken the country off track,” said an angry resident of Sulaimani.
After Maliki froze Kurdistan’s budget in February in order to pressure the Kurds into desisting from going ahead with independent oil exports, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani called that tantamount to “a declaration of war.”
“He should not be allowed to visit Kurdistan, and in particular he should not be allowed to see the president (Talabani),” said another resident who spoke to Rudaw.
Some Kurds vented their anger at Maliki on social media, demanding protests in Sulaimani against him.
“People of Sulaimani, if you do not protest against the man who cut Kurdistan’s budget and threatened Kurds, then shame on you,” said Cewlik Bengol in an online comment. “Show what you think of the man whose militia in Baghdad threatens Kurds,” the commentator said.
Maliki will reportedly be accompanied by the former Iraqi vice president, Khudayir al-Khuzai, and other senior leaders of his State of Law coalition.
A Facebook user, Rosch Ibrahim Marof Singer, vented his anger at Maliki accusing the Kurds last month of harboring extremists: “Why do they let him enter Kurdistan when he accuses the Kurds of terrorism?”
Saz Ahmed, another commentator, wrote: “He should not be allowed to enter Kurdistan. It’s insulting for Kurds if he comes,” she said.
Related Iraqi Dinar Articles-