Visiting Iraqi Kurdistan, UN envoy urges consensus on disputed territories

SRSG Ashraf Qazi

13 July 2007 – The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq has concluded a three-day visit to the Kurdistan Region with a call for all parties in the violence-wracked country to seek consensus on the status of disputed territories.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, addressed the opening session of the “Practical Federalism in Iraq” conference, where he articulated the world body’s positions on crucial issues Iraq faces today, such as the constitutional review and federalism.

“The United Nations has not sought to impose solutions on any party,” Mr. Qazi told participants, referring to Article 140 – regarding the status of the northern city of Kirkuk – of the Constitution.

The UN recognizes that this is a sovereign Iraqi process and that high-level political dialogue is necessary to find a solution acceptable to all parties, he said.

The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) “believes that finding a consensual solution on the implementation of Article 140 can help resolve the status of disputed territories” and could also ensure that any resolution is widely accepted and does not lead to additional violence, he noted.

Mr. Qazi pledged UNAMI’s assistance and technical expertise on this issue if and when requested by the Iraqi Government.

The Special Representative also held official meetings with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, and other officials, discussing a wide array of topics such as Article 140, human rights and the security situation in Iraq.

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