Kurdistan government formation takes step forward

The KRG's two primary political parties appear to have broken a four-month stalemate with a deal for new leadership in both Erbil and Kirkuk.
Kurdistan government formation takes step forward
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) meets with Masrur Barzani, incoming Prime Minister of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in Erbil on January 9, 2019. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

SULAIMANIYA/ERBIL/KIRKUK - Kurdistan's two dominant political parties have made a breakthrough in their long-running negotiations to form the next Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) — talks that also aim to decide the governorship of the disputed, oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

Under the agreement, the new KRG Parliament will meet for the first time on Feb. 18, paving the way for Masrur Barzani - currently Kurdistan's intelligence chief, and the son of former President Massoud Barzani, who leads the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) - to become prime minister and seat a new Cabinet.

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