Recent Visits between Kurdish officials and Iraqi PM signal progress in resolving long-standing disputes
Shafaq News / The recent visits of Kurdish officials to Baghdad and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani's trip to the Kurdistan Region and meetings with Kurdish leaders have played a significant role in ending mistrust and paving the way for further technical political discussions aimed at resolving differences between the two parties.
During al-Sudani's visit to the Kurdistan Region last Tuesday, he met with a number of high-ranking Kurdish officials, including Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Nechirvan Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, President of the Regional Government, and leaders of other Kurdish parties. The following day, he traveled to al-Sulaymaniyah and met with leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
Masoud Barzani viewed the visit as an opportunity to express his "optimistic views" regarding the future of Iraq and to enhance relations between Erbil and Baghdad. However, the complex nature of issues such as constitutional articles, oil and gas law, the Federal Council, and the region's authority in certain matters has made it difficult to address them due to conflicting political and electoral interests of the various parties. Thus, resolving these issues requires extensive discussions among senior leaders and concessions, which the two parties are not yet fully equipped to make.
Sherwan al-Dobardani, a representative of the K.D.P. in the Iraqi parliament, has interpreted the recent visit of Prime Minister al-Sudani to the Kurdistan Region as a positive step towards the resolution of long-standing disagreements between the region and Baghdad.
According to al-Dobardani, al-Sudani's visit, which followed his acquisition of confidence, has set the tone for productive discussions and negotiations on critical issues that have persisted for two decades, such as the completion of the oil and gas law and the Sinjar Agreement.
Amanj Harki, another member of the Iraqi parliament for the K.D.P., also expressed optimism about the potential for increased cooperation and understanding between the two sides. Harki stressed the importance of addressing significant challenges such as the budget crisis, the oil and gas law, and Article 140 constitutional, which are among the priority areas identified by the State Administration Coalition for resolution. He further emphasized that addressing these issues will be essential for achieving positive outcomes in the future.
According to political analyst Saman Nouh, the recent visits by both Kurdish officials to Baghdad and the Iraqi Prime Minister's visit to the Kurdistan Region have helped to resolve crises related to Federal Court decisions that have negatively impacted Kurdish participation in the country.
These visits have also opened up discussions around constitutional files, including the application of Article 140 to resolve the fate of disputed areas.
Nouh believes that these visits have initiated dialogues to settle differences on financial and security files, such as the budget and the deployment of the Iraqi army in border areas. Additionally, they may also help resolve settlement deals related to the region's share of positions in Baghdad. However, more complex files will require further discussions and the establishment of mutual trust before they can be addressed.
Nouh argues that the federal government must change its perspective of Kurdistan from one of doubt to one of partnership, based on laws governing citizenship and constitutional rights, particularly from the perspective of Shiite forces.