IRAQ - The Kirkuk Issue.Saddam's Ba'thist dictatorship enacted a policy of "Arabisation" which drove Kurds and other non-Arabs from Kirkuk and replaced them with settlers, mainly from the Shi'ite south, and made border adjustments to cut the Kurdish population of Iraq's northern oil region. Kurds say Arabisation must be reversed, and what will then presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. be a Kurdish-majority province should vote on whether or not to join the autonomous Kurdistan federal region. Many Shi'ite leaders balked balk
v. balked, balk·ing, balks
1. To stop short and refuse to go on: The horse balked at the jump.
2. at these demands.
Sunni and Shi'ite Arab public opinion is distrustful dis·trust·ful
Feeling or showing doubt.
dis·trust of the Kurdish autonomy and loath to extend it to Kirkuk. Ja'fari is believed to support a strong central government. However, the need to reach consensus to form a post-war government eventually led to an accord, first cemented in Article 58 of Iraq's 2004 transitional law (TAL), and reaffirmed in the permanent constitution approved on Oct. 15, 2005, which falls roughly in line with the Kurdish vision for Kirkuk. Under the new constitution, the "normalisation 1. (data processing) normalisation - A transformation applied uniformly to each element in a set of data so that the set has some specific statistical property. For example, monthly measurements of the rainfall in London might be normalised by dividing each one by the total " of Kirkuk and a referendum are to be completed by Dec. 31 2007.
The Kurds have long accused Ja'fari of stonewalling stone·wall
v. stone·walled, stone·wall·ing, stone·walls
a. on the accord. They say his government has settled only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of refugees eligible for resettlement Re`set´tle`ment
n. 1. Act of settling again, or state of being settled again; as, the resettlement of lees s>.
The resettlement of my discomposed soul.
- Norris. . The issue briefly paralysed the formation of Iraq's transitional government a year ago, until the Shi'ites provided written guarantees that Article 58 would be implemented.
What triggered the crisis was a visit last month to Turkey by Ja'fari with a team including Abbas al-Bayati Natik Abbas Hasan al-Bayati is an Iraqi Shiite Turkmen  politician and a member of the Iraqi National Assembly. He is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance. , leader of Ankara-backed Turkomans militating for control over Kirkuk. The Kurds say they were not told in advance of a visit to a country they regards as hostile to their national aspirations. The Financial Times on March 11 quoted independent Kurdish politician Mahmoud Othman Dr Mahmoud Ali Othman (b. 1938) was a member of the Interim Iraq Governing Council created following the United States's 2003 invasion of Iraq. A Kurd and Sunni Muslim, Othman was a member of the Political Bureau Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). as saying: "...The Kurds have had always a problem with...[Ja'fari]...not implementing Article 58". The Ankara visit, he said, "ignited" the issue.
The Shi'ites deny having kept the Ankara visit secret from the Kurds, and claim they are not trying to back out of their commitments - they merely need more time. Haydar al-Abadi, an adviser to Dr. Ja'fari, says: "We in the Da'wa party and the UIA UIA Universidad Iberoamericana (México)
UIA Union of International Associations
UIA United Iraqi Alliance
UIA University of Antwerp
UIA Union Internationale des Avocats intend to implement the constitution to the letter". However, he adds: "we have until end-2007... The county is in a very bad shape for [the Kurds] to make such a demand". Few would deny the process is politically delicate.
Sunni Arabs and Turkomans in the province strongly oppose Kirkuk ever becoming part of an autonomous Kurdistan, as do some of Ja'fari's Shi'ite allies. However, the Kurds say they have no faith in Ja'fari, and insist on another prime minister. But the Shi'ites say the Kurds should not personalise a policy dispute. With the stand-off showing no sign of ending, Time magazine has reported that US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad wants to hold a conference where all factions would be coaxed into agreeing a common policy. If it happens, the Kirkuk issue - which many Iraqis thought settled in 2004 - will be high on the agenda.