Article 140: The Elephant at the Negotiating Table

It is also worth looking back at the history of this enmity between the Iraqi Kurds and Iraq’s Arabs – specifically the former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. Hussein and Iraqi Kurdish leaders signed an accord that gave Iraq’s Kurds more autonomy and promised to deal with the issue of the disputed territory.

However by the time the two parties were supposed to begin this process, their relationship was cold and becoming colder – in fact, in just a few years it would became an armed conflict. Baghdad was not willing to allow the Kurdish to control some of the wealthiest parts of the country and the Kurdish were unwilling to commit to any solution whereby they did not have control of Kirkuk.

“In the end, whoever is the strongest party will prevail,” suggests analyst and leading Iraqi Kurdish journalist, Arif Qurbani. “The stronger party will resolve the issue in its own interests.”

Qurbani believes that many politicians in Iraqi Kurdistan have already come to the conclusion that, even if Article 140 is implemented, the problem of the disputed territories will not be solved. That is why it hasn’t been a priority in recent negotiations.

“And if the Iraqi Kurdish region demands that Article 140 be implemented, then they would have to do that according to the Constitution,” Qurbani argues. “In which case, Iraqi Kurdish forces would need to withdraw from the land they are now occupying. But instead,” he concludes, “the Iraqi Kurdish are creating their own reality, on the ground.”

(Oil image via Shutterstock)

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