Baghdad pays KRG contractors

In a step forward for Baghdad-Erbil relations, the central government has paid Kurdish oil contractors for the first time.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki talks with Barham Salih, who is now the Prime Minster of the Kurdistan Regional Government, during a national assembly meeting in 2006. The KRG publicly criticized Maliki's new draft oil law. (CEERWAN AZIZ/Reuters)

Iraq’s central government has made its first-ever payments to oil companies operating in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

“The triggering of the oil payments mechanism signifies the commitment to resolve the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad in accordance with Iraq’s Constitution,” said Barham Salih, prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in a press release Thursday.

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