New rhetoric underscores entrenched Erbil-Baghdad oil disputes

Dueling statements by Iraqi PM Abadi and the KRG highlight the hard financial and political realities preventing oil and revenue cooperation.
New rhetoric underscores entrenched Erbil-Baghdad oil disputes
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Deputy Prime Ministers Rosch Shaways (left) and Baha al-Araji (right) at the May 12, 2015, Cabinet meeting in Baghdad. (Source: Iraqi Cabinet Media Office)

ERBIL - Leaders in Baghdad and Erbil traded dueling statements that emphasize the great difficulty in reviving any semblance of cooperation over oil and budget issues.

The public exchange was cloaked in the language of diplomatic outreach and initially caused some observers to believe the two sides were reopening negotiations over an arrangement that would enable the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to receive budget payments from the federal government.

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