Iraqi PM Meets KRG Delegation

Iraqi PM Meets KRG DelegationIraqi PM Meets KRG Delegation

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday met a delegation of Kurdish Regional Government officials headed by KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani who arrived in Baghdad on Sunday morning.

The two sides met to discuss several outstanding differences between Baghdad and the KRG, including the Iraqi national budget, territorial issues, oil exports and plans to retake the city of Mosul, which was overrun by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in mid-2014.

Several more meetings between the KRG delegation and Iraqi officials are reportedly planned for late Sunday, World Bulletin reported.

Along with Barzani, the Kurdish delegation also included KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani; head of the president’s office Fouad Hussein; and regional foreign relations chief Falah Mustafa.

The Iraqi delegation, meanwhile, headed by al-Abadi, also included Iraqi Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili, Housing Minister Tariq al-Khikany and Petroleum Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

Last summer, the KRG stopped exporting its oil through Iraq’s federal government and began exporting it via the Turkish port of Ceyhan to protest Baghdad’s failure to include it in the national budget.

In December of 2014, KRG and Baghdad signed an oil deal, according to which Erbil–the KRG’s administrative capital–would be allowed to export its oil in exchange for a share in Iraq’s national budget.

Under the terms of the deal, the KRG would export 250,000 barrels of oil a day in return for which Baghdad would earmark 17% of the national budget for the KRG’s needs.

In recent months, however, declining global oil prices have caused financial crises for both Baghdad and the KRG, which has prevented both governments from paying the salaries of large numbers of their employees.