Senate Delegation Reaffirms Support In Resolving Issues Between Erbil, Baghdad

Senate Delegation Reaffirms Support In Resolving Issues Between Erbil, Baghdad

 A U.S. Senate delegation met with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister, and reaffirmed U.S. support in resolving the issues between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region.

KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani received a U.S. delegation headed by Robert Corker, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in Erbil on Monday (February 20) to discuss the Islamic State (ISIS) fight, Mosul liberation, and relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the KRG said in a statement.

Corker promoted the cooperation between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army in the operation to liberate Mosul from ISIS, saying that such cooperation needs to be continued in other fields.

He expressed his country’s support in resolving suspended issues between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region, the KRG statement added.

Barzani acknowledged the Coalition and U.S. support for the Kurdistan Region, saying “it has a great impact in defeating the ISIS terrorists’ attacks and threats.”

“There is a good coordination between Erbil and Baghdad in [the] military field,” Barzani added. “But there is no progress in other fields.”

He expressed the region’s readiness to resolve issues with Baghdad through dialogue and discussion.

Tensions between the KRG and the central government hit a high in 2015, after officials from both sides accused each other of failing to abide by the terms of an oil revenue sharing deal struck by officials in December 2014.

Officials from the KRG and Baghdad signed the revenue-sharing agreement in December 2014 which would have seen the Iraqi federal government provide the KRG with 17 percent of the federal budget in return for oil exports amounting to 550,000 barrels per day (bpd).

That deal collapsed months later when the KRG ceased transfers to the Iraqi State Organization for Marketing Oil (SOMO) altogether. Baghdad in turn stopped the transfers of budget payments.