BAGHDAD -- An Iraqi parliament's fact-finding mission to multiethnic Kirkuk has deadlocked in failure and returned to Baghdad to report to the major political factions, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports.
Sheikh Burhan al-Assi, a member of the Arab bloc on the Kirkuk provincial council, told the station that a consensus solution agreed on by the three communities in the city -- the Arabs, Kurds, and Turkomans -- is the only way toward a settlement.
Assi added that "the fact-finding mission has failed because of influences from outside Kirkuk."
Ali Mehdi, a spokesman for the Turkoman bloc on the provincial council, told Radio Free Iraq that the Turkoman community sees the solution to the Kirkuk issue in "declaring the province a special-status zone or a region in its own right."
Awat Muhammad, a member of the Kurdish bloc on the provincial council, told the broadcaster that the fact-finding mission's return to Baghdad "unfortunately shows that the three communities are incapable of resolving their own problems."
He said "the United States and United Nations might find themselves compelled to intercede with a new initiative on Kirkuk."
The parliamentary fact-finding mission to Kirkuk began early February, and when its mandate expired on March 31 it received a two-month extension.
The mission comprises six parliamentarians representing the Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans, and Christians.