By HEVIDAR AHMED
In a sign of growing ties between Sunni Arabs and Kurds, Sunni Arab leaders in Diyala province have agreed to back a key Kurdish demand to resolve disputes over provinces claimed by Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen as they pursue plans to create a semi-autonomous region.
Nasrin Bahjat, a Kurdish member of the Diyala provincial council, said Sunni Arab leaders have promised to implement Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, which outlines steps that would ultimately determine whether a local administration or Baghdad governs the disputed territories, including regions of Diyala.
Sunni Arabs, who had long opposed the constitutional article and the Kurdish-backed idea of federalism, have declared that they want more autonomy from the Shia-led government in Baghdad in provinces like Diyala. Bahjat, who serves on a committee of provincial council members tasked with exploring federalism, said Kurdish leaders have advised the council on their bid to create a semi-independent region.