UN concerned over raising Iraqi Kurdish flag in Kirkuk
BAGHDADThe United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has said it is concerned by the recent decision of the governor of Kirkuk to raise the flag of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRG) over the city of Kirkuk.
UNAMI stated on March 21 that it “notes that the Government of Iraq has clarified that under the Constitution Kirkuk falls under the jurisdiction of the central government and that no flag should be raised in the Governorate other than the Iraqi flag.”
On March 16, Kirkuk province decided to use the KRG flag along with the Iraqi national flag in governmental institutions. It also decided to use the Kurdish language in official letters alongside Arabic.
“The Mission [UNAMI] cautions against any unilateral steps that might jeopardize harmony and peaceful coexistence among many ethnic and religious groups that rightly call Kirkuk their home and want to live and work together in the post-Daesh period, building on the spirit of unity and cooperation of all components in fighting the terrorist Daesh,” the statement said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The U.N.’s statement comes a few days after the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized the Kirkuk governorate’s decision to fly the KRG flag on state buildings.
“The Kirkuk Governorate’s request from the Kirkuk Provincial Council for a motion to raise the KRG flag beside the flag of Iraq throughout official buildings is disconcerting,” said ministry spokesperson Hüseyin Müftüoğlu in a written statement on March 19.
The ministry also recalled that the Iraqi constitution determined the process about disputed local administrative borders.