Public spat hampers border-focused Baghdad-Erbil budget deal

The federal and Kurdistan regional governments are exchanging public recriminations over finances, despite optimism in some quarters about a deal that pushes aside perennial oil disputes.
A federal delegation led by the two deputy prime ministers meets with KRG officials, led by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, on July 25, 2019, in Erbil. (Source: KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani)

ERBIL/SULAIMANIYA - Negotiators from Iraq's federal government and semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are seeking a breakthrough revenue-sharing deal by pursuing a compromise on long-standing disputes over border crossings — a shift away from budget talks that have historically focused on oil.

But the negotiations have become turbulent. After outlining a framework deal in a series of promising talks, Erbil and Baghdad leaders have traded public statements in the past two days accusing each other of bad faith.

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