Erbil resumes talks with the Federal Government, PM Barzani, in Baghdad today

Erbil resumes talks with the Federal Government, PM Barzani, in Baghdad today

Shafaq News/ On Wednesday, the Kurdish Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, headed a high-level government delegation in his official visit to Baghdad.

KRG explained that Barzani would meet the Iraqi president, Abdul Latif Rashid, PM Muhammad Shia' al-Sudani, the Parliament Speaker, Muhammad al-Halbousi, and the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidan.

The meetings would discuss issues of common interests, mainly the outstanding problems between the Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government and the cooperation between the two sides at all levels.

Negotiations are underway between the two sides to resolve the differences, including oil, the fiscal budget, and the Peshmerga deployment in the disputed areas.

During the Government of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (2018-2020), both sides concluded an agreement that requires Baghdad to pay all the salaries of the Kurdistan Region for the first time since 2014. In return, Erbil would deliver the revenue of 250,000 barrels of oil out of nearly 500,000 barrels that Kurdistan exports independently.

Baghdad said Erbil did not adhere to this agreement almost wholly, while the Kurdish Government confirmed that it fulfilled its promises.

In May 2020, former PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi decided to stop paying the salaries of the Region's employees, amounting to nearly 500 million dollars per month, due to the financial crisis.

Consequently, the Region's senior officials, including President Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, visited Baghdad frequently to find solutions, but s

Another part of the disagreement is the disputed areas.

The Iraqi army forces regained in October 2017 control of the Kirkuk Governorate and the disputed areas, extending across a strip starting east from Diyala, passing through Saladin, and reaching southwest of Nineveh.

The Iraqi Kurdistan used to keep control over all those areas after the collapse of the Iraqi army in 2014 following the attack by ISIS.

Since 2017, security in Kirkuk and the disputed areas has been maintained through multiple federal forces, including the army, the federal police, the counter-terrorism service, and the Popular Mobilization Forces.

An announced agreement between Baghdad and Erbil stipulated that four joint security centers be formed in the disputed areas in Kirkuk, Diyala, Makhmur, and Mosul, to cover the vacuum areas between the army and the Peshmerga to prevent ISIS activities. However, the agreement is now suspended, and both sides accuse each other of a lack of responsiveness.

Now, with a new round of talks, many future scenarios are posed for the relationship. But hope was raised by forming a new federal government head by Muhammad Shia'a Al-Sudani.

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