This is from todayszaman.
This issue has virtually disappeared from mainstream media but it is still there bubbling away under the surface. The referendum that is supposed to determine the future of Kirkuk has never happened and it is not even clear now if it ever will happen! The Kirkuk region is rich with oil and neither the central govt. nor the Arabs and Turmen in Kirkuk are ready to agree that it is part of Kurdistan. However, the Kurds may do as they have done with the oil, get tired of waiting for a solution and go ahead and take de facto control of Kirkuk.
Barzani insists Kirkuk part of Kurdish region
Iraq's disputed city of Kirkuk and its oil reserves belong to the Kurdish region, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said on Thursday when he met with Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht in Arbil, northern Iraq.
Asked at a joint press conference with De Gucht on Thursday whether the oil fields in Kirkuk belonged to the Kurdish region or the federal government of Iraq, Barzani said: “The Iraqi Constitution states that the oil reserves are the property of all Iraqis. But Kirkuk, together with its oil reserves, is part of Kurdistan,” he said.
Iraqi Kurds run three provinces in northern Iraq and claim the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk is also part of their semi-autonomous region. Kurdish claims on Kirkuk are a source of tension between the city's Kurds and non-Kurdish population, made up of Turkmens and Arabs. The Iraqi Constitution envisions a referendum on the status of Kirkuk, but the vote, although planned earlier, has never taken place because pre-referendum requirements, such as a census, could never be carried out. Turkey, which shares close ethnic ties with Turkmens, calls for a compromise among Iraqi groups on the status of Kirkuk. The United States is also cautious about Kurdish claims over Kirkuk, fearing it could lead to clashes that could affect the entirety of Iraq.
Control of Kirkuk and the distribution of oil revenues in northern Iraq are among the key disputed issues between the Kurdish administration and the Baghdad government. De Gucht backed Iraq's federal system and said problems between the Kurdish region and the central government should be resolved on the basis of principles of the Iraqi Constitution.
Before traveling to Arbil, De Gucht met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Human Rights Minister Wejdane Mikhail in Baghdad to discuss security and reconstruction six years after the US-led invasion of Iraq.