HEADLINES:

Kurdistan Parliament discusses state of agreements between Baghdad and Erbil

Over budget, oil
Kurdistan Parliament building. (NRT Digital Meida)
2020-01-23

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Parliament met in Erbil on Thursday (January 23) for a discussion with the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) delegation that has been conducting negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad.

The primary topic is expected to be the state of the agreements between to the two capitals over the federal budget and oil that were signed late last year. Both issues have been a continuing source of friction, with the KRG refusing to honor its obligations under the 2019 Federal Budget Law to send 250,000 barrels of oil per day to Baghdad for export.

Under the oil agreement, the KRG agreed to begin sending the oil this month. Several informed sources have told NRT Digital Media on background that no transfers have occurred so far, with Erbil waiting until the passage of a new federal budget to do so. It is not clear when that budget will be passed with political Baghdad currently in a state of flux and administered by a caretaker government.

When KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's government came into office last summer, one of its primary tasks was to improve relations with Baghdad. Nevertheless, issues like oil, the budget, security, and the disputed areas continue to present roadblocks to better relations.

Thursday's parliamentary session was closed and the cameras turned off after 73 MPs voted in favor of doing so. Journalists are not allowed in the chamber and do not observe proceedings from the gallery, so there will be no independent record of what was said during the session.

This is the second time during Parliament's Autumn Term that a session has been closed. The other was during consideration of a narcotics bill.

(NRT Digital Media)