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Kurds advocate federal system

Sept. 24, 2008 at 4:13 PM

ERBIL, Iraq, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Iraq needs to embrace a federal, pluralistic system of government that advocates dialogue and reconciliation, a Kurdish official said.

The chief foreign relations officer in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Falah Mustafa, spoke with London's pan-Arab daily Ashraq al-Awsat about relations between the regional government and Baghdad.

"The Kurdish leadership, including the government of the region, is determined to use dialogue as its method and remind others that today's Iraq is not the Iraq of previous regimes, but a federal, democratic, pluralistic country and that the Kurds are major partners in the political process," he said.

He said despite opposition from some members of the central government in Baghdad to Kurdish ambitions and interests, the KRG continues to advocate a partnership with all political leaders in a federalized Iraq.

"We have embraced the federal system by choice and out of our free will," Mustafa said, "and we have chosen to be partners in the federal government."

The KRG also advocates ratification of the long-term security agreement between Iraq and the United States set to replace the expiring U.N. mandate there, saying it "confines" the U.S. military presence in Iraq while respecting its sovereignty.

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