Kurdistan Regional Government reaches preliminary agreement with Iraq on budget bill

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) delegation announced on Sunday a preliminary agreement with the federal government regarding the Iraqi budget bill for 2023.

The announcement was made on Sunday, following a meeting between the KRG delegation and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani.

Umed Sabah, the head of the Diwan of the Kurdistan Region’s council of ministers, took to Facebook to confirm the development. He stated that both sides had a clear understanding and had reached a preliminary agreement on the 2023 budget bill.

During the meeting, the Region’s share of the federal budget was discussed, according to a statement from the Kurdistan Region’s finance ministry.

Erbil and Baghdad have long been at odds over the budget, particularly after the Kurdistan Regional Government decided to sell its oil through Turkey.

In spite of Kurdish delegations visiting Baghdad several times to resolve disagreements, both sides have not reached a resolution. In the two years since the last budget law was passed, there have been ongoing disagreements over a variety of key issues.

The Kurdistan Region has been hit by two waves of significant rulings from the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court in the last year.

In February, the first ruling prevented the region from administering the oil and gas sector. An Iraqi top court ruled in January that the payment of Baghdad’s financial entitlements to the Region violated the Iraqi Budget Law of 2021.

The agreement between the KRG and the federal government is a positive step towards resolving the ongoing disputes over the budget bill. It remains to be seen if both sides will reach a final resolution on all disagreements in the coming weeks. This preliminary agreement, however, is a positive development that may contribute to the restoration of political stability.

 

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