Basra leaders pushing for regional autonomy

Iraq's oil capital wants a greater share of power and revenue from Baghdad. Politicians have pressed the cause before, but never with such wide support.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (left) with Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi (center) having tea on the street in Basra city on Dec. 29, 2014. Abadi is attempting to slow down the Basra campaign to create an autonomous region. (Source: Iraqi Prime Minister's Media Office)

BASRA - Leaders in Basra are making a renewed push to form a region akin to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – a move that would reduce the central government's power over the engine of Iraq's economy.

The campaign comes as Basrawis grow increasingly impatient with Baghdad, which has delayed implementing revenue sharing provisions for Basra while simultaneously making budget concessions to the KRG. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is taking the threat seriously enough that he met with leaders in Basra on Monday.

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