Monday, June 11, 2007
By Ali al-Fadhily
"It seems like a pact between devils, but Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki reportedly returned from the Kurdish north with a deal - a Kurdish Kirkuk in exchange for a free hand for Shi'ites in the south. It is a further reflection of the crisis that the US faces in Iraq and shows there is no single group capable of achieving control of the ever-worsening situation.......
Speaking on condition of strict anonymity inside the heavily fortified Green Zone of central Baghdad where the Iraqi government meets, the member told IPS that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki "sold Kirkuk in exchange for Kurdish support for his collapsing government, and other matters such as not being in the way of Shi'ite militias in Baghdad".
He clarified that he believes Maliki made a pact with Kurdish MPs to relinquish plans for trying to have the central government in Baghdad control economic and oil issues in the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, but did not express confidence that the deal would be honored....."