The Kurdistan Regional Government’s President Massoud Barzani has expressed that if Nouri al-Maliki becomes Iraq’s prime minister they would declare the independence of Kurdistan saying, “We will not remain part of an Iraq governed by a Maliki government”.
In an interview with the London based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Barzani gave his thoughts on former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari’s removal from office, the Mosul operation and the possibility of Nouri al-Maliki becoming the prime minister of Iraq again.
According to Barzani, Zebari’s loss of a confidence vote late last year while he was Iraq’s Foreign Minister was organised to pave the way for al-Maliki’s return to government. As part of the same plan, Barzani believes, the failure of the Mosul operation will be used as a pretext for the removal of Haider al-Abadi, opening a way back for al-Maliki.
Barzani, who himself is serving as an out-of-term President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, says that if Nouri al-Maliki becomes the Prime Minister of Iraq then he would declare the independence of Kurdistan without consulting with anyone.
At the end of the interview, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government added that he believed a good dialogue between the Kurdistan region and the USA would continue under the newly sworn-in President Donald Trump.