Kurdistan Iraqi government treats Peshmerga with double standard: PM Barzani

Iraqi government treats Peshmerga with double standard: PM Barzani
Peshmerga soldiers with military vehicles at one of the front lines in the southern Kurdistan Region border. (Photo: Reuters)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister on Sunday stated Baghdad was treating Peshmerga with a double standard.

During a press conference, the KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani said the Kurdish government supports the efforts to include the Hashd al-Shaabi in the Iraqi army within a legal framework.

“We respect the role of Hashd al-Shaabi for their fighting against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, and we are glad it is put into a legal framework,” PM Barzani said.

Additionally, the PM criticized Baghdad for ignoring the role of Peshmerga forces in the fight against IS.

“The Iraqi government should have supported and helped the Peshmerga forces the same way it is implementing the Hashd al-Shaabi demands,” he said.

“The double standard policy against the components of Iraq implemented by Baghdad is a very bad thing,” PM Barzani added.  

The Iraqi parliament on Saturday approved a law legalizing the Hashd al-Shaabi Shia militias.

The parliament session was boycotted by a majority of Sunni and Kurdish Members of Parliament who voted against the motion.

Regarding Erbil-Baghdad relations, the KRG PM said the Kurdistan Region was forced to sell oil independently after the Iraqi government cut its budget in 2014.

“The priority of the KRG is to resolve the disputes with Baghdad, and if we know that the problems will be solved, we are always ready to visit Baghdad and resolve the issues especially the budget issue,” Barzani added.

Moreover, the PM emphasized that “if Baghdad was ready to pay the salaries of the civil servants in the Kurdistan Region, we are ready for an agreement with them.”


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany