tv Inside Story 2017 Ep 271 Al Jazeera September 30, 2017 2:32pm-3:00pm AST
state rex tillerson is holding top level talks in china over the tensions on the korean peninsula the u.s. wants china to put pressure on kim jong un to retreat from his nuclear and missile programs hundreds of ranger refugees have crossed into bangladesh a lining up to receive aid at the could to prolong camp there bangladeshis have mobilized themselves to help some of the half a million people with escape the violence and nehemiah the un refugee agency and the government have been providing food and other relief. government airstrikes have killed more than forty five people and wounded dozens more in northern syria at least twenty five people died in the province of lib fighter jets also targeted hama and aleppo provinces where syrian and russian forces are battling opposition fighters on thursday the leaders of russia and turkey agreed to secure so-called deescalation zones and to help end the civil war. the us health secretary has quit after spending at least four hundred thousand dollars of taxpayers' money on private jets tom price was president from choice to get rid of obamacare lots more
news on the website al-jazeera dot com i'll see you soon i'll see in about ninety seconds inside story is next. iraq war has international airlines to stop flying into its kurdish region follows monday's vote on secession which passed with overwhelming support group baghdad's pressure forced the regional government to cancel the result or will it backfire this is inside story.
hello and welcome to the program today with me peter don't be now the government of iraq is suspending all international flights to and from bill in its northern autonomous kurdish region people in the area took part in a succession vote on monday that baghdad and other governments including crucially turkey have strongly opposed almost ninety three percent voted for the referendum but the prime minister hietala bodies of ministration calls it unconstitutional it's also demanding full control of the region's oil revenue and border crossings well that's one guests in just a moment but first how to abdel-hamid sets up our discussion from a bill. to no more international flights to and from the airports of evidence eliminator and that should last until the end of the year from now on only for many emergencies and military flights will be allowed to land or take up with prior
great initiative with the authorities in baghdad domestic flights. as scheduled but many of the people who are leaving today especially to preserve the desperate come here to. part of referendum they said they had cut short their holiday here simply because they did not feel safe to transit through the airport in baghdad now the kurdistan regional government is also refuting to adopt any of the measures demanded by iraqi parliament the twelve steps that have been issued on when his day the government here say that those are unconstitutional you hear the same word unconstitutional coming out from prime minister here he calls unconstitutional that the referendum that took place earlier in the week at the moment there doesn't seem to be any meeting point between the two sides. they care g.
also refuting to hand over the border the border crossings with iran also calling. a legitimate saying that they have the right to keep that so certainly a lot of worry for to people here many said that they had enjoyed voting in that referendum but now it's bittersweet this is what at the hamid for inside story let's bring in our panel in stockholm cameron mathison senior lecturer specializing in kurdish studies at the university of sussex in baghdad. director of the house of iraqi expertise fund and in bill. dean president of the middle east research institute welcome to you all the lawyer in this deadline what does it actually mean well this has been anticipated it will mean a lot of inconvenience for both the kurds and the international network of business friends diplomats tourists and you name it people see very nonsensical
punitive measures taken which is really also seen as pointless because it will not serve any purpose people will not all. of the kurdish leaders would not be in any way moved by this and many people expected to be temporary because if the kurds could not convince baghdad to restart it the international community will and the airlines well and certainly people the authorities here have opened doors to baghdad saying come on run it yourselves do we will do what it takes but baghdad is not offering any alternative so while this is just causing problems and inconveniences it may seem as though they're isolated kurdistan but in reality because i'm not very worried about this because if that's the kind of measure coming then that's not the end of the world this will be a transition thing and then they can overcome that there are many alternative ways
so this people are watching whether to see this will be followed by other measures or not but if you can see from the airport that how people are desperately panicking to go how bad the day today the people here are not moved by cameron mathison in baghdad will they think we'll do it do you think actually seal the borders well i think the with respect to the amateur traffic there is certainly. on the iraqi side to do so why asking international airlines not to fly to iraq using it's. going to as a state but i think you know as your previous guests know your article response correction we're outside world can continue on my own land there is a more general point regarding basically sanctions whether diplomatic will well economy and i think iraq's own experience during the ninety's when it experienced some of the most comprehensive sanctions in modern history against the. regime of
saddam hussein demonstrated that actually sanctions you know they have sent themselves are unlikely to to kind of bend the will of a determined actor in international policy. so i'm not sure that sanctions actually would serve the purposes specially given that the kurdish side has clearly stated this referendum is non-binding and they are actually happy to negotiate from this point on with the central states in about that so i think they have currently quite harsh stance which not not mistaking presence has to do more with the with the domestic politics in in iraq i.e. parts of iraq outside criticism of iraq even the two hundred twenty eighteen elections which coming up and prime minister by the seems to be trying to appease the more hardliners around mr maliki who want to take a stronger position against the could is the regional government because of their
friend mr maliki of course being the former iraqi prime minister ahmed rushdie in baghdad is that a fair consideration in your mind because the iraqi prime minister has to go to the polls next year mr barzani the leader in the kurdish region he's due to step down next month well is told about is the prime minister of all of iraq so he actually can do what must do what he can do he's the higher commander of the iraqi army he has so many authorities that it's supposed to be for the unity of iraq that's supposed to be used for the unity of iraq but the most important thing is that particular speaking he has so many pressures he has from the shia parties there are so many pressure from the shiite parties from iran from turkey. and also of course from the hotshot from the pm forces also which means that he's looking for the twenty eighteen elections in a way that all these procedures that he mention here that he became in the
community it's supposed to be the most important men that means he is raising up his name and in front of his society but on that and there. the hand we all know that it's supposed to be there is the there was negotiations before the referendum and he asked for the negotiations before that a friend them before the referendum that happened this week that now what's happening now is that now the kurds and mr barzani president barzani is actually asking for the negotiations. my my feeling is that all these harsh procedures maybe it will be a period now but it will be in a way or another. a way for negotiations between back then and now deal now step down from the roof and is the iraqi government asking for a step down from that of a friend them refuse the results maybe kurdistan or let's say me out of your main
frozen the results rather than reject the results it's a way offering negotiations that at the end it will end to the on the table iraq does not need another crisis we have so many things to deal with we have doris we have the financial crisis and so on and are there and the kurds are iraqis it's supposed to be that we all learned the lessons from previous history well we have eight eighty eighty years war with iran we have sanctions for about thirteen years so and so it's supposed to be all these all those lessons that i learned by the iraqi by the iraqi leaders ok we could have a separate program it's wise to interrupt you for a second because you have another discussion about how the kurds see themselves and then we have to talk to the kurds in iran in the diaspora worldwide that's not specifically what we're talking about the lower. how can the un pick this as a contributor from baghdad is suggesting they will inevitably have to when for example there was
a trilateral agreement put in place very securely last friday and in that sense the players who have a vested interest in the kurdish region not getting more autonomy than it has already got they want to keep the status quo the neighboring countries are trying to. get the kurds in iraq to solve their problems in other words they they think that by keeping the iraqi kurds either prevented from independence or even suppressed that is one way of solving the problems across the border where the they really should be adopting more overarching. odysseys towards the kurdish question and more democratic and more civil rights and they should deal with their issues internally and the history has shown over the last twenty five years that iraqi kurds incrementally had acquired greater sovereignty over their decisions yet this did not affect to the neighbors across the border and of course the kurds in turkey
and in iran they have their grievances and it's related to what happens in kurdistan of course emotionally culturally in many other ways what happens in iraq affects them but it's a wrong way around to expect the iraqi kurds to solve these problems by not asking for what they deserve the iraqis as well they need to see that the this cornering this pressurize ation this agreement with iran and turkey against the kurds can only make matters worse can only increase the gap between the kurds and the neighbors or at least the iraqi government the previous speaker quite rightly said the iraqi government may be like the iranian and turkish governments everybody is electioneering everybody is under pressure and everybody wants to calm things down so mr about is actually among the this year's he's now the only man in a position of power who can make decisions but the house of shia where they have
decisions used to be made is now very divided very fragmented and they are between them between themselves and their electioneering so trying to appear tough for their own voters also that's populism. internally behind the scene they think this is very damaging very bad so the best way forward has been is what the kurds are emphasizing is that the time for negotiation is never over this referendum was just an opinion poll let's talk about how we can design the future so the turks have realized that they they were tough they spoke. but actually they did not take any serious measures to make life more difficult for themselves or the kurds the iranians are exactly the same they're speaking tough they think this was a mistake might break by the kurds but they're not closing the border they're not doing anything i know how to measure that would make it difficult for them to amend to mend fences in the future iraq needs to do the same i can also predict that now
we are into our shura i sure is not one day it will take a whole week and politics will actually take a week break and after that people will have to then see what can be done and use the language of of debate of dialogue and it's only then when they think properly having adopting new vision and strategies they can exchange projects exchange ideas come up with a way forward so that's really the healthiest way of managing this crisis while many kurds in iraq and elsewhere have welcomed the referendum but others including the u.s. are worried it could lead to violence in an already sensitive region donald trump's administration signaled its frustration and said the u.s. was quote deeply disappointed with the referendum but it would not affect u.s. kurdish relations france has warned of the destabilizing effects of the vote and says it could provoke new major crises across the middle east iran has closed its border and halted all flights to the kurdish region turkey is threatening military intervention and as we mentioned earlier it will now only negotiate with baghdad
for oil exports let's talk to me in baghdad what are the chances as a reaction to this what looks like a stranglehold on the airport barzani say over the next twenty four hours of the next week after assura given ten days he declares full independence is that likely i don't think it will make the kurds more go to the extreme in a way or another they are asking for negotiations. or waiting for a positive response happen by the iraqi government. maybe because of international community pressure will happen now. to open wide to negotiations between baghdad and bill but let us say something which is very important the problem is that in two thousand and three actually there is a deal happen between the iraqi government and they are g is that iraqi government
will give seventeen percent from a from the annual budget. from the iraqi government to erbil and started from two thousand and three and till two thousand and fifteen or two thousand and fourteen so there's a problem now for some sort of problems that we give you the money to stay in iraq now you are you want to be outside iraq so give us back our money so it's a it's some sort of new levels of sanctions airports land. borders and now we are talking maybe there are talk about financial crises it will be happen between baghdad and about the seventeen person maybe it will escalating for more but i think with the. well with the with the presence of the u.n. with the presence of the international community in baghdad i think there will be some sort of movement against any harsh measurements. for the kurdish people special of the kurdish people already they hospitalized about three million
refugees most of them are iraqi so it's supposed to be one of the important event that happened to the iraqis that they went to kurdistan they've been welcomed in kurdistan so even on the social level now the people in baghdad looking for kurdistan as a safe zone for them so it's some sort of contra directory for for what's happening between the political level and the social level but that then i hope and and maybe it will take time at the end there will be a negotiating table and at the end maybe there for under itself it will be negotiated for its results and maybe for its fate so then what's going to happen what is the kind of relations between baghdad and erbil let's talk about the idea of a relationship between baghdad and bill cameron mathison in stockholm is an independent kurdish state let's call it kurdistan is an independent kurdistan better or worse
than a de pendant kurdish region when it comes to the fight against eisel and also the way that refugees are spread out around northern iraq partly because of what's going on in that fight against deisel in iraq and in syria well really the question of independence is is this always depends on specific circumstances of a particular people in a particular his country within which they live i mean what you get from your article is that their experience with iraqi state since its inception about two hundred years ago has been simply systematic violence oppression negligence and and various forms of sanctions and so on so they don't tips into the new relation with the iraqi state after two thousand and three war after the overthrow of the sundance hoping that they would be passed. sort of an inclusive broadly secular state and that wasn't was the basis on which they claim they actually accepted
united states kind of. invitation that they would remain within the iraqis think since then things has have have not really evolved the way they are in visit at the time for example this question of disputed territories which is at the heart of this problem of especially oil rich region because the two should have iraq up thousand and five specifically states is article one one hundred forty that by two thousand and seven i ate ten years ago there should have been referendum in these territories so that they could decide their formal affiliation whether to the k r g will to the central state this never took place the distribution of the federal budget has been also contested as your previous guest said this was suspended by the central state all the while that central government in fact kept paying government employees in their regions to taken over by the isis which is quite
a contradictory approach to take now the only issue seems to be the central government's kind of opposition point i.e. they say the kurds have to have marketed their their oil bypassing but other now one could say that well your article did so only because they sent the budget from the center was was suspended but also because again your article situation states that parts of iraq which experienced this proportionate. deprivation under the previous regime could for a specific period of time receive an extra share from the overall budget and the kurds might argue that their same of the oil is actually consistent with the spirit of this particular article in the constitution ok we'll come along and i think all economy in just a second but i just want to get to another couple of key points because monday's vote increased oil prices to more than. a two year high this week and there are concerns of could unsettle the markets for weeks to come the kurdish regional government generates eighty percent of its revenue by selling oil overseas using
pipelines that go through turkey but after the vote turkey threaten to shut down those pipelines the transport about five hundred thousand barrels of oil a day the government in baghdad has asked oil traders to stop dealing with the kurds directly and has ruled out any talks with the kurds on the referendum result well on the other side of iraq of course we're talking about iran let's put one of those key points to the lower. is is the idea of an independent kurdish region anathema to tehran because that would surely scupper iran's idea is desire for a shia crescent through the middle east the iranian point of view their major concern is not really so much independence of kurdistan there are two issues there they want a good neighbor they want kurdistan to be a. reliable stabilizing partner in iraq in and of this city in the
neighborhood but also should not affect the kurds in iran now the iranians are looking at the bigger picture the shia crescent you mentioned maybe one their big agenda is spreading their influence. across the middle east is to really their eyes on america israel turkey is rivalry saudi arabia so they do not really see the kurds as being the primary target of their concern but they want the kurds to if they if they anything they gain any level of seventy should not be a threat to their national security and this entity should be a friend that the iranians when it comes to the kurds they think it's a very important strategic issue to have this years of iraq and the kurds being still allies and having good relation there always emphasizing that this strategic . elections should remain intact and occur and they also want stability inside iraqi kurdistan now when there is
a this kind of. moves of referendum almost always independent when everybody is worried the iran is actually more calm than everybody else they're fairly confident about their ability to control events in baghdad and they are engaging the kurds they were a bit surprised by the kurdish stubbornness but i come back to this point about the tragic community's response when you mention oil only if you. have to interrupt you which i apologize but we are very close to the end of the program and i do want to get to a couple of key points cameron mathison in stockholm is there any way that the deadline we're talking about as of now to do with the airport and what that might evolve into is there any way this deadline and the referendum can end well for everyone i think it can because none of the apparently most raged actors about this referendum are in a position to really intervene directly iraqi government cannot really.
result a balance because it's performance militarily against isis does not really inspire confidence and end up sense of their support by the united states which is obviously inconceivable it's not clear how exactly they want to actually press their points upon because they signed iran will not take the bait told into that intervening in iraq and you're right you're not going to stand which would invite extensionally richard boucher from united states which is quite. aggressive these days against iran it wants to revise the nuclear deal it wants to bring to the table the question of the ballastic missiles of iran and all sorts of other now the grip other issues they have with iran and turkey on the other hand has a multi-billion dollar trade with g.e. is. depending on actually county to part that is partly kind of contain. against which it isn't wool and it's also increasingly hoping to rely on k r g two
case in syria and i'm going to interrupt you there because i want to give the last thirty seconds of the program to that rushdie in baghdad what are the chances here that mr zanti has used this vote as a marker from which he is prepared to come back to then start negotiations it also can be a point to restart his future to plan for his political pathway and at the end is to barzani is not legitimate he's not the president of legitimately now maybe it's it will be that pave the way to a new round for his president ship as a present for k r g because there is a referendum and there are there will be. well as he promised there will be elections in the next november so it's a way to know exactly the part of the way to know exactly what's going to happen for his future and the let's say the next six six maybe twelve years or ten years and the other other hand i think mr barzani launched an invitation for the
negotiations and he's accepting or let's say he's expecting the international community to support his idea about negotiating not that if and under but negotiation in negotiating the result of the referendum which is two different think which is well maybe it will end for something that iran and turkey will accept and also maybe the iraqi government which is confident of ism between baghdad honorable which is already happened even before the referendum so eventually talks will began and will begin and just as i said negotiating table is ready maybe it will not be in iraq maybe it will be one of the country of the international community paris london no one knows maybe even washington ok but maybe them but i love the u.n. . would be the best way to stop with gentlemen thank you for your time thanks to all our guests come run mass and mad rush to the lawyer i'll dina thank you to you
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