KRG deputy premier says ‘optimistic’ about reaching deal with Baghdad

KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani (second from left) meets with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and his two deputies as well as members of parliamentary committee (not pictured) in Baghdad, December 16, 2020. (KRG)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Region’s Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said he is “optimistic” that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will reach an agreement with Baghdad over the Region’s rights and financial entitlements.

“We have reached to the belief that we have been absent in Iraq for a long time and the issues should no longer remain suspended,” Talabani said during an interview with Dijla channel broadcast on Friday.

A KRG delegation led by Talabani visited Baghdad on December 9 to resolve suspending issues between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government. The delegation has held a series of meetings with the Iraqi officials, but has yet to ink an agreement.

“I am still confident to return the financial entitlements of Kurdistan’s people,” Talabani added.

The Kurdish official further said the upcoming election scheduled for June 2021 has made an “unhealthy political situation” in Iraq.

“There is political pressure on all parties. The process of negotiations with Baghdad to resolve all the issues is not easy,” Talabani added.

Talabani added that the KRG is ready to abide by the fiscal deficit financing law, adopted by the Iraqi Council of Representatives last month, without Kurds’ consent.

The law commits the Kurdistan Region to hand over non-oil revenues and an amount of oil that SOMO indicates to the federal government in exchange for an amount of money as payment for the Region’s public servants.

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