Politics & Economics

KRG President in Baghdad to Discuss Outstanding Issues and Protests

Iraq

KRG President Nechirvan Barzani has made his second visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad to discuss bilateral issues with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi.

In the midst of protests in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechirvan Barzani, made an unannounced visit to Baghdad to meet with Iraq President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi, and Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi. Barzani also met with Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Hikma Movement, to discuss the demands of the protesters.

“Nechirvan Barzani’s visit to Baghdad today is part of improving our relations, as we are part of a federal Iraq. Based on this, we must consider this in all our policies. We have a constitution that we must focus on to solve our problems”, noted Zana Molla Khalid, a Member of the KRG Parliament.

Barzani alluded to the importance of the new proposed electoral law as well as the possible amendments to the Iraqi Constitution, which are being negotiated in Baghdad.

Aside from discussions revolving around the protests and demands of the protesters, it is likely that Barzani discussed other outstanding issues with the officials in Baghdad. The 2020 Budget Law is currently being drafted and this is likely to have been a topic of discussion since budget allocations to the KRG have often been a matter of controversy and debate.

Around two months ago, Barham Salih and Mohammed al-Halbousi, along with a delegation, visited Barzani in Erbil to discuss outstanding issues. In July, Adil Abd al-Mahdi announced that the limited funding that is sent from the central budget to pay for public sector salaries in the KRG will only be increased once the dispute over oil transfers is resolved. Many of the issues concerning oil profits and budget allocations have remained since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

These issues were exacerbated following the Kurdish vote of independence in 2017 and the subsequent military conflict over disputed territories in Kirkuk.