In Rudaw

Baghdad borrowing law ‘biggest failure’ of Iraqi political parties: President Barzani

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani has slammed Iraqi political parties amid ongoing disputes over a contentious finance bill passed by Baghdad last week, saying the law is the “biggest failure” of parties trying to administer the country.

Barzani met with Kurdistan Region  Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Rewaz Fayeq on Sunday in order to discuss the recent decision by the Iraqi parliament to pass a fiscal budget deal which has angered Erbil and Kurdish MPs in Baghdad.

Iraqi MPs on Thursday passed Fiscal Deficit Coverage Bill that funds salaries for civil servants in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region for the last two months of this year. The bill passed with a majority vote, despite a walk-out staged by Kurdish MPs, who were angered that Erbil is obliged to hand over an unspecified amount of oil in exchange for funds- a clause they say was not in the original bill.

“The language and tone of this bill is of punishment, especially punishing the people and employees of the Kurdistan Region,” President Barzani said on Sunday.

“The Iraqi parties think that they have achieved success today,” he said. “I believe that at this time, they have showed their biggest failure in administrating this country.”

“The law they have voted for is against the principles of coexistence, equality, and cooperation, which were the most important principles we built Iraq upon back in 2003,” he added.

“If the Iraqi parties allow themselves to take this basic right from Kurdistan Region employees, how do they expect the Kurdish people to consider themselves as part of this country?” he added.

Barzani said that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was under the impression that Iraq was going to send the Kurdistan Region’s agreed share of 320 billion Dinars until the end of this year, before striking a new deal next year.

“The essence of the problem is that the government in Baghdad is not behaving like a federal government and instead it has a centralized mentality. What we have in Iraq is not federal system at all,” the president said.

Despite his criticism, he expressed the KRG’s readiness to come to an agreement with Baghdad.

“We do not want to evade responsibility and the 9th Cabinet has said repeatedly that they are happy to hold dialogue with Baghdad and reach an agreement.”

He also extended a call for help to the United Nations to mediate between Erbil and Baghdad. Source