KRG Prime Minister optimistic about constructive relationship with Baghdad over budget talks and oil law

KRG Prime Minister optimistic about constructive relationship with Baghdad over budget talks and oil law

Shafaq News/ Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani expressed optimism regarding the positive atmosphere between Baghdad and Erbil.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Barzani contributed his optimism to passing the federal budget in the Council of Ministers and its subsequent submission to Parliament.

The budget includes an allocation of 12.6% to the Kurdistan Region, which Barzani noted is not precisely what they had hoped for but is still a viable option.

He emphasized that the entire country would benefit from the budget, and its passing could be the start of a more constructive relationship between the KRG and Baghdad and other provinces, leading to economic recovery.

Barzani also highlighted that the positive atmosphere in budget talks could facilitate progress towards a national oil law that reflects the rights of the Kurdistan Region in the Iraqi constitution.

He hopes that Parliament will pass the budget as it is.

Earlier this week, the Iraqi Prime Minister announced that an agreement had been reached to end the longstanding dispute between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government over oil revenues.

Al-Sudani stated during a press conference that the agreement entails depositing the Region's oil revenues in a single account that would be monitored jointly by the federal and regional prime ministers, with a committee submitting recommendations to the federal prime minister for appropriate decisions.

The oil export and revenue issue has been a significant point of contention between Baghdad and Erbil, often leading to political escalations.

Tensions heightened after the Federal Supreme Court, Iraq's highest judicial authority, deemed the Kurdistan Regional Government's oil and gas law unconstitutional in February 2022. The court ordered the Region to hand over oil imports to Baghdad, causing widespread anger and exacerbating an already tense political situation following the country's early elections in October 2021.

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