The appeal followed a warning from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi to the Kurdish Regional Government, calling on the KRG not to involve the PKK in the dispute over Kirkuk.

Iraqi MPs from different political backgrounds call for removal of PKK in coordination with neighbouring Turkey on Monday, October 30, 2017.
Iraqi MPs from different political backgrounds call for removal of PKK in coordination with neighbouring Turkey on Monday, October 30, 2017. (AP)

Iraqi lawmakers of various political orientations on Monday called on the government to coordinate with Turkey to expel the PKK from Iraqi territory.

The appeal comes two weeks after Prime Minister Haider al Abadi warned northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) against involving the PKK in the ongoing dispute over the northern city of Kirkuk, a move Abadi said would be tantamount to a declaration of war against Baghdad.

In 2014, the Peshmerga seized the city, after Iraqi forces fled before an advance by Daesh forces.

Following the September 25 KRG referendum on support for independence, Iraqi forces moved to retake control of Kirkuk city, which was not part of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Kirkuk's population is a mix of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.

Iraq-Turkey coordination

Iraq should coordinate with Turkey to expel the PKK from Iraqi territory, Haider al Fawadi, an MP for Iraq's Reform Bloc, a component of the Shia National Alliance which holds 180 seats in the 328-member parliament.   

The Iraqi government must exert its authority throughout Iraq so as not to give terrorist organisations the opportunity to threaten the country's security, Fawadi said.

He added that the PKK had entered Iraq illegally and that Baghdad should coordinate with Turkey to expel the group, which Turkey, the US and EU list as a terrorist organisation.

Fawadi said the PKK's presence in Iraq could lead to civil war.

Hassan Khalati, an MP for Iraq's National Wisdom Movement, a component of the National Alliance which holds 10 parliamentary seats, also called on the government to take steps against the PKK and eject it from Iraq, just as it did with the People's Mujahideen of Iran also known as the Mujahideen al Khalq.   

Under a 2016 agreement between Baghdad and the UN, 280 members of the Mujahideen al Khalq – who had been staying at Liberty Camp near Baghdad International Airport – were deported to countries in the EU.

"We reject the presence on Iraqi territory of terrorist groups that operate against neighbouring states," Khalati said.   

The PKK has recently played a negative role in Kirkuk through its armed presence in opposition to the federal authorities, he added.   

Threatening neighbours    

Abdul Aziz al Dhalimi, an MP for Iraq's Al Ahrar bloc with 35 seats in parliament, likewise asserted that the PKK threatened the security of both Iraq and Turkey.   

The Iraqi government should take a strong stance against any organisation that threatens the region’s security, Dhalimi said.   

He pointed to the close security coordination between Baghdad and Ankara seen during the last three years of Daesh ascendancy in Iraq.   

We must similarly coordinate against the PKK, Dhalimi said.

Mohamed Chihod, an MP for Iraq's State of Law coalition, with 92 parliamentary seats, stressed the need for Iraqi-Turkish-Iranian coordination against the PKK – and against what he called the KRG's recent bid to break up Iraq.

The government should put an end to the "dictatorship" of KRG President Masoud Barzani and the PKK, which has sided with rebel separatists against the unity of Iraq, Chihod said.

Tension has steadily mounted between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG since the September 25 referendum on support for independence.

Regional and international actors criticised the unconstitutional referendum as a distraction from Iraq's fight against Daesh, and as potentially adding to regional instability.

Abdul Rahman al Loezi, an MP for Iraq's National Alliance, the largest Sunni bloc in parliament with 45 seats, also stressed the need to expel the PKK from Iraq.

The presence of the PKK is a violation of Iraq's constitution, he said, as it expressly forbids harbouring groups that threaten Iraq's relations with neighbouring states, especially Turkey.

Source: AA