Deputy of Prime Minister receives U.S. Assistant Secretary of State

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Deputy of the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara A. Leaf on Wednesday discussed Iraq’s political situation and outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad. 

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Barbara A. Leaf who is in the Kurdistan Region capital at present was received by Deputy of Prime Minister Qubad Talabani in Erbil, covering a wide range of topics related to Iraq and the Region.

In the meeting, the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad on the oil and gas as well as budget issue were discussed, a joint statement released after the meeting said.

“Our problem is not about who sells oil,” Talabani told Leaf, adding, “But our problem is about guaranteeing the budget, financial and constitutional entitlements of the Kurdistan Region,” the statement said.

Talabani asked Leaf’s country to assist in the constitutional resolution issues between Erbil and Baghdad, according to the statement.

“Despite the errors and barriers, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has made significant steps, and asked for continuation of U.S. support,” Talabani said regarding the reforms that the KRG has adopted.

Talking about Iraq’s situation, Leaf and Talabani stressed that the parties should resolve their issues through national dialogue and avoid any actions that deepen the disputes.

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