BAGHDAD, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Kurdish lawmakers in Iraq are at odds with members of the secular Iraqiya slate over military and territorial issues, a leader said.
Iraq is to announce a new government before the end of the year. The government features many holdovers while adding new deputies and a strategic council tasked with checking the power of the prime minister,
Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker, told London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that, while the main Shiite alliance in Iraq backed many proposals offered by the Kurds, the Iraqiya slate was holding up several measures.
He said Iraqiya is opposed to measures describing the territorial boundaries of the Kurdish provinces and authority over the Kurdish military force Peshmerga.
"As for the issue of the Peshmerga, they believe that so long as the Peshmerga receive their salaries, budget, and military equipment from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, they should take their orders directly from the ministry, rather than anybody else," he noted.
The Kurdish and Iraqi governments are at odds over the so-called disputed territories in Iraq, a region running along a de facto border from Sinjar in the west to Khanaqin in the east. Tensions between Kurdish and Iraqi forces nearly erupted into violence in Khanaqin in 2008.