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Iraq, Kurdistan Region Discuss Disputed Areas, Federal Budget

Iraq, Kurdistan Region Discuss Disputed Areas, Federal Budget

Monday, 13 February, 2023 - 08:00
Iraqi President Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid received a Kurdistan delegation headed by the region's interior minister, Reber Ahmed, in Baghdad (INA)

A security delegation from the federal government arrived in Erbil Sunday, while another one assigned by the regional government arrived in Baghdad to discuss outstanding issues.

The regional government delegation seeks to discuss the most pressing issues, including the 2023 budget, the disputed share of the region, and other topics such as the oil and gas law and the election law.

Meanwhile, the security delegation, headed by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, arrived in Erbil to restore the relationship in the disputed areas.

Observers believe the dispute between the two main Kurdish parties in the region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, would negatively affect the area's citizens.

They indicated that any discussions with Baghdad would not benefit the Kurdish people, who are no longer unified towards Baghdad.

The spokesman for the deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Samir Hawrami, said during a press conference in Sulaymaniyah that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan team decided to boycott all cabinet meetings but continue to provide services to citizens.

Hawrami explained that the team has issues with the government management in the Kurdistan region, adding that the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan met to discuss and solve these issues, which did not yield any results.

The spokesman stressed that the problem with the administration was about providing services to citizens, noting that no date has yet been set for the upcoming meeting between the two parties to complete the discussions.

Furthermore, KRG spokesman, Jutiar Adel, said that a high-level Kurdish delegation arrived in Baghdad to resume dialogue on the most important outstanding issues, notably the federal budget and the oil and gas law.

The delegation would first discuss the latest developments in the federal budget law and the region's share in it, the oil and gas law, Article 140, and compensation for the Kurdistan region's people affected by the previous regime's policies.

The delegation would remain in Baghdad for several days to discuss these issues, said the spokesman, adding that they hope they would benefit the Kurdistan region through the negotiations.

For his part, the President of the Diwan of Council of Ministers, Umed Sabah, confirmed that the visit to Baghdad comes within the framework of the official visits of the regional government aiming to reach an agreement on the oil and gas law, the budget and financial dues for the Kurdistan region, and other issues.

The financial budget was supposed to reach parliament before February for discussion and ratification, but the government announced it reconsidered the budget after the decision to reduce the exchange rate and the start of talks between Iraq, Türkiye, and the US.

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