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Focus Group on Kirkuk Project

MERI continued its work on the issue of Kirkuk by holding a meeting to discuss the current situation and possible ways forward. The meeting, which was held in Kirkuk, brought together leading decision-makers to engage in a constructive debate about Kirkuk. The daylong meeting systematically approached the different concerns surrounding the Kirkuk issue.

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Bringing together representatives from Kirkuk’s diverse communities, the meeting was the first of its kind to be held in Kirkuk. The discussion addressed the views on the relevance for Article 140, how things had changed due to ISIS, what barriers for progress there are and what the competing solutions for Kirkuk are. While there was no consensus reached, constructive arguments were put forward and points of agreement could be identified.

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Over the last six months the situation in Kirkuk has drastically changed. MERI aims to be the first organisation to conduct on-the-ground research in Kirkuk since this shift. Being in a unique position to speak to all concerned parties MERI will provide analysis into the changing perspectives and legal aspects that have all developed since June 10th.

The institute will continue to hold workshops and conduct interviews with Kirkuk’s leading figures aiming to assist in identifying a way forward for Kirkuk. MERI’s research will culminate in a detailed report that will analyse and take into account the views of all the major stake-holders.

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About MERI:  The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.  Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).

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