PM Barzani: we do not have strong partners in Baghdad
Shafaq News/ Kurdistan's Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday said that the essence of the disputes between the federal and regional governments is rather political, "neither technical nor legal", demanding Baghdad to show a willingness to address the differences with Erbil.
Prime Minister Barzani's remarks came during an annual multi-panel event organized by the Middle East Research Institute (MERI) in Erbil, where he touched on a spectrum of issues related to the autonomous region, Iraq, and the world.
"Anti-corruption initiatives must be a systematic process, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is taking steps toward that through digitalizing its services," the Prime Minister said, "the government will be completely digitilized by 2025."
Barzani said that the government is left with a small budget for development projects, "since most of it goes to salaries."
"Amending the investment law is being considered to revive the private sector," he continued, "diversification of income is important to developing the economy. There is a need to establish many processes afresh to achieve diversification."
"Political parties have not shown support to the government," he added, "due to the consociational system, prime ministers are left with limited authority."
"Kurds used to be 28% of the Iraqi army. They now account for 2% only," said the prime minister, "the problems between the KRG and Baghdad are neither technical nor legal issues, but political."
"There has not been the political will in Baghdad to resolve issues. Should this be made available, we can solve the issues. We, as KRG, want the best relations with Baghdad."
"Kurdistan has not been enabled to be a strong partner in Baghdad," he concluded, "we will insist on defending and implementing our constitutional rights in Iraq."