ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi President Fuad Masum on Tuesday called for an “urgent” meeting between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) after the adoption of the controversial 2018 budget bill.
According to the President’s press office, Masum called on both administrations to meet and discuss the ongoing crisis between Erbil and Baghdad especially following the passage of the 2018 budget bill despite a Kurdish boycott.
On Saturday, the Iraqi Parliament approved the country’s problematic 2018 budget bill in the absence of Kurdish politicians who boycotted the session.
Baghdad did not consider Kurdish demands in the financial plan and reduced the Kurdistan Region’s share significantly from its previous 17 percent allocation.
Following the adoption of the bill in the absence of Kurds, many Kurdish parliamentarians called for a “comprehensive withdrawal” from the political process.
Some Kurdish lawmakers stressed that a withdrawal would be “the most appropriate option” after Baghdad ignored the rights of the Kurdistan Region once again.
The KRG, meanwhile, said the reduction of the allocation was unfair, and the proposed share could not even cover the needs of residents in a single province let alone four (Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaimani, and Halabja).
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday said the Kurdish factions in Baghdad had previously met with Masum, reminding him to defend the constitutional rights of all the people of Iraq, including the Kurds.
Masum, however, has remained silent on the contentious budget bill throughout the months of deliberation in Parliament.
Former Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, meanwhile, called for a “united response” against the decision which he said was “another clear move in undermining consensus, power-sharing, balance, and the constitutional rights of the people of Kurdistan.”