Baghdad not a solution for KRG

Kurdish delegation's visit to Baghdad was an important step toward easing the tensions, but it cannot solve all problems.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) - The Kurdish delegation's recent visit to Baghdad was a crucial step toward easing tensions, but it won’t solve all the problems, said the spokesperson of the Iraqi President.

A senior delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, met with the Iraqi President and government officials to discuss problems the Region is facing.

Pointing out the most pressing difficulties facing Iraq, Khalid Shwani, the spokesperson of the Iraqi President, mentioned that Iraq and Kurdistan Region need to show a lot of tolerance to solve their problems. Shwani highlighted that Iraq suffers from critical issues such as the lack of an inclusive government, power balance, and democracy.

He stated, “All sides in Iraq have criticized one another since 2003, but no one has been able to solve the problems decisively.”

“The reason for disagreement is that different groups [in Iraq] have different demands, and they oppose one another,” Shwani continued.

Speaking on behalf of the Iraqi President, Shwani mentioned that the Kurdish delegation is always welcome and he encouraged future dialogue to solve complications through peaceful negotiations.

Regarding the outcome of the Kurdish delegation visit to Baghdad, Muayad al-Tayeb, former spokesperson of the Kurdish Alliance in the Iraqi parliament, told K24, “I believe there are fundamental problems between the sides.”

Tayeb emphasized that political union among the Kurdish parties was KRG’s only pressure card against the Iraqi Federal Government.

Abdul Hakim Khasraw, a political analyst from Salahaddin University in Erbil, argued that tensions between Baghdad and Erbil have political roots rather than economic ones.

Khasraw discussed some of the most prominent issues between the two sides, “The disputed areas, [Baghdad’s] refusal to recognize Peshmerga forces as an Iraqi defense force, and interpreting KRG’s economic independence as preparation for independence from Iraq.”

Expanding on the economic crisis in Iraq, Shwani explained that the problems are so resonant that Iraq cannot financially help the Kurdistan Region.

He revealed that according to the current expenses and budget of Iraq, the 17 percent budget share of the KRG is much less than what they already earn through independent oil sales.

Additionally, Shwani said that exporting KRG’s oil through SOMO, Iraq’s oil marketing company, will not help solve the Region’s financial problems.


Reporting by Ehsan Mamakani

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany