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KRG Optimistic about an Agreement with Baghdad: Qubad Talabani

After ten days of non-stop negotiations with the federal government and political factions in Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) negotiating team has not yet reached any concrete agreement, but it is optimistic about one, head of the delegation, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, said.

The Kurdistan Region has already expressed readiness for full compliance with Baghdad’s Deficit Law despite the fact that it was passed at the Iraqi parliament in the absence of the Kurdish factions.

During an interview on Dijla TV, Talabani said that the Deficit Law defines KRG’s obligations and rights. He further explained that Erbil is required to handover its oil and non-oil revenues in return for a share from the budget, which is currently under discussion.

“There is not only the issues of budget and salaries between Erbil and Baghdad, but we have disputes related to the implementation of constitution, oil and gas law, Peshmerga budget, article 140 [of the constitution], which remain unaddressed so far.”

The KRG deputy prime minister reiterated Erbil’s determination to find a fair and viable solution to the disputes with Baghdad, and noted that the negotiating atmosphere is more optimistic this time.

“There has been no agreement yet so far; but I am optimistic that we will not return to Kurdistan Region empty-handed,” he emphasized.

According to Talabani, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani will visit Baghdad in the near future accompanied by a delegation that will include representatives from major Kurdish parties. The visit is to show political support for the KRG negotiating team.