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Without budget agreement, Iraq's government will not be stable politically or financially, says KRG representative

No new date for return of KRG delegation to Baghdad
2020-07-14

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Representative in Baghdad said on Monday (July 13) that it was not clear when a negotiating delegation from Erbil will return to the Iraqi capital for further talks, but added that the process of achieving a comprehensive budget agreement continues.

KRG Representative Faris Isa told the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) official media outlet that there is an understanding between the federal government and the KRG that allows the talks to continue.

Isa warned that both governments should reach an agreement because “the state of Baghdad will not be stable politically and financially” without one.

He also said that the KRG position has always been that the talks and resulting agreement be based on the constitutional principles and that their delegation had adhered to that. Nevertheless, he said critically that parts of the talks had been constitutional, while others were not.

On July 7, an expected trip by a negotiating delegation from the KRG to Baghdad was postponed because federal officials have not completed a review of financial, personnel, and administrative files related to oil and KRG’s public sector workforce.

In late April, Baghdad cut off all budget transfers to Erbil, leaving it with a massive shortfall that was compounded by the effects of a drop in the global price of oil.

Unable to pay its public sector workers on time or in full, the KRG has repeated delayed distribution of salaries this spring and recently moved to cut the pay of most workers by 21 percent or more.

(NRT Digital Media)