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UN to release report on disputed Iraqi territories

world Updated: Apr 22, 2009 15:47 IST

AFP
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The United Nations was set to hand over an eagerly awaited report on Wednesday aimed at averting ethnic conflict between Kurds and Arabs in northern Iraq, as well as political turmoil in Baghdad.

The UN, which has been working on the report for more than a year, was to present its proposals to government officials on a dozen disputed Iraqi areas, including oil-rich Kirkuk province, an official told AFP. "The document will be handed to the Iraqi presidential council, the prime minister and his two deputies, and to the autonomous government of Kurdistan," the UN official said.

A team of 15 diplomats, university professors, historians, negotiators and constitutional experts started work on the document in March last year. It was meant to be completed last autumn but was delayed.

The UN commissioned the report to try and resolve complex disputes in the 12 areas and said it hoped its findings would reach "a global deal" in the disputed areas, including Kirkuk.

Tensions remain high between the Kurdish regional government, which wants to extend its reach to areas where the population was historically Kurdish, and the Baghdad government, which wants to limit the autonomous region to the three provinces already assigned to it.

The disputed areas consist of Kirkuk, seven districts of Nineveh province, whose capital Mosul is Iraq's second city, two districts of Diyala province, and one each in Salaheddin and Sulaimaniyah provinces.