ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A high-level delegation from the Iraqi government’s central bank and Ministry of Finance on Sunday arrived in Erbil to discuss a final agreement on outstanding issues, a source informed Kurdistan 24.
A high-level Iraqi delegation arrived at Erbil International Airport in the Kurdistan Region’s capital to meet with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials and discuss the ongoing issues between Erbil and Baghdad, the source said.
The source added that the Iraqi delegation, headed by Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq, the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, is expected to discuss various outstanding financial issues between Erbil and Baghdad.
“The Iraqi Finance Ministry delegation will discuss matters related to the Kurdistan Region’s revenues, the auditing of the list of KRG employees, and some other issues,” the source stated.
The Iraqi delegation’s arrival to Erbil comes less than a week after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Tuesday announcement that his government would release the salaries and lift the flight ban before Newroz, the Kurdish new year.
Following the Sep. 25 independence referendum in the Kurdistan Region, Baghdad imposed a flight embargo on airports in Erbil and Sulaimani Province, a move Kurdish officials label an “international isolation” of the Region.
Over the past few months, Abadi has repeatedly stated that he would send the salaries of KRG employees soon, but has not yet done so, which has led many in Kurdistan to describe Abadi’s promises as “propaganda.”
Under Nouri al-Maliki’s leadership in 2014, the Iraqi government cut the Kurdistan’s share of the national budget. Coupled with Baghdad's ongoing delinquent budget payments to the KRG, this has substantially contributed to the economic crisis in the Kurdistan Region in recent years.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany