KDP responds to PUK letter about Sangawi incident; Masoud Barzani denies involvement

Derailed cross-party meeting on provincial elections
PUK First Deputy Secretary-General Kosrat Rasul (left) and KDP party leader Masoud Barzani (right) (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Leadership Council Othman Banimarani told NRT Digital Media that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has replied to a letter sent by PUK First Deputy Secretary-General Kosrat Rasul on Saturday (September 21) regarding heightened tensions between the parties.

According to Banimarani, the letter said that KDP party leader Masoud Barzani had nothing to do with an incident on Thursday where PUK senior leader Mahmoud Sangawi was prevented from entering Erbil through a KDP-controlled checkpoint in the Smaqoli valley.

In an earlier statement, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Interior also denied that it was involved.

On Saturday, a KDP spokesperson told party-affiliated media that the issue will pass and that it hopes that the incident will not be repeated.

Following Thursday’s incident, unknown gunman fired several shots at a KDP party office in Sulaimani early on Friday morning. Then on Friday evening, gunmen fired shots at two PUK offices in Erbil in apparent retaliation.

The tensions derailed a scheduled cross-party meeting between eleven Kurdish parties to discuss forming a joint electoral list to contest provincial elections in the disputed areas next April.

(NRT Digital Media)