ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Discussions of how to boost foreign investment and private sector job opportunities led a meeting on Thursday between President of the Kurdistan Region Nichervan Barzani and Nouri Sabah al-Dulaimi, Iraq’s planning minister.
In the meeting, which took place in the Kurdistan Region's capital of Erbil, Barzani and Dulaimi both stressed the necessity of initiatives that would spur growth in the economies of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, according to a statement released afterward by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Both stressed “careful planning, better policies, and reorganizing economic administration for a better and more developed fiscal future.”
They also addressed preparations for the national census, set to take place in 2020, saying that “Cooperation and coordination between the federal government, the KRG, and the international community in the process,” was essential.
The meeting concluded with a discussion on Iraq’s 2020 budget bill and the process of rebuilding areas damaged as a result of the past takeover by, and conflict with, fighters of the Islamic State.
The KRG and the federal government of Iraq have multiple longstanding and often seemingly insurmountable disagreements related to the budget, oil and gas, and the nation's disputed territories.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad were strained considerably in late 2017 following the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum, which saw a landslide majority favoring statehood.
Following the formation of the new Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi in late 2018, relations between them have improved significantly.
Editing by John J. Catherine