November 25, 2018 / 03:50 PM
Barzani seeking to expand Erbil-Baghdad ties: analyst

An Iraqi affairs analyst believes the last week visit of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, to Baghdad was to boost and expand ties between the Kurdistan Region and the central government in Baghdad.

“There are several different reasons for Barzani trying to improve ties with the new Mahdi (Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi) government. First, Barzani helped bring down PM Abadi because he was mad that Abadi opposed the independence referendum and seized the disputed territories including Kirkuk so he was open to the new administration. Second, Barzani has a long relationship with new PM Mahdi going back years. Third, Kurdistan needs money from Baghdad to help with its budget,” the analyst Joel Wing told Kurdpress.

Kurdistan is heavily in debt and needs to get its share of the national budget to help with its finances, he said, adding that the political class which was deeply critical of Barzani for pushing the independence referendum are now looking forward to putting together the new government. The problem is that it's split between two power brokers Amiri and Sadr. Everyone is now courting the Kurds because the KDPs votes in parliament could help swing things in their favor. That's why Barzani is meeting with all the power brokers.

The analyst further stated that the Kurdistan Regional Government has already worked out a deal for Baghdad to once again use the Turkish pipeline to export oil. That will hopefully lead to a deal about the budget. Barzani is looking to see what political deals he can forge for future positions and status with the central government.

Reporter’s code: 40101