Sudani’s visit to Kurdistan Region bolsters Erbil-Baghdad relations

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani on Tuesday made his first visit to the Kurdistan Region since taking office in October 2022, accompanied by a government delegation. The visit is a significant step towards strengthening ties between the Iraqi Central Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

During his visit, Sudani met with top leaders in the Kurdistan Region, including President Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani. This visit is seen as a new chapter in the relations between Erbil and Baghdad following years of disputes over security, budget, and oil revenues.

“The PM’s goodwill is recognized and important to restoring trust. The federal budget bill and progress on oil and gas give us stakes in our finances and lay foundations for deeper ties,” tweeted Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

“The government has the intention and determination to end these outstanding issues and move towards a broader horizon of joint action and economic opportunities, which serve the interests of our people in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and all the governorates of Iraq,” read a statement from the Prime Minister’s office following his meeting with KRG Prime Minister.

During a dinner hosted by President Barzani in the presence of political leaders and representatives from the Region’s communities, Sudani praised the diversity of the Iraqi people as a factor of strength and stressed the government’s adoption of this constructive vision.

The visit came just one day after the central government passed the budget bill for 2023, 2024, and 2025, aimed at stabilizing the country’s economic sector. The day before the visit, the Prime Minister announced an agreement with the KRG over the Region’s budget share and oil revenues, setting the Region’s share at 12.6% of the federal budget.

“For the first time, an agreement has been reached that all revenues of the oil produced and its derivatives in the fields of the Kurdistan Region be deposited in one bank account for all revenues without any deductions and authorizing the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region the power to spend,” read a statement from Sudani’s office.

This initiative is a crucial step in promoting collaboration and cooperation between both entities, with the aim of achieving stability and peace in the region.

 

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