The exchange of accusations threatens the upcoming round of dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil

Arab Reports


Aktham Saifuddin

13 August 2020

The joint coordination between the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga has returned to the issue of fighting “ISIS” (Uzen Jula / Anatolia)

The governments of Baghdad and Erbil have escalated their rhetoric with mutual accusations of disavowing common understandings and failure to fulfill the obligations that took place between the two parties regarding the pending issues, which were supposed to be discussed in a close round of dialogue, which officials considered “hasty” that will affect the possibility of launching the joint dialogue between the two sides.

The public exchange of accusations between the Al-Kazemi and Barzani governments is the first of its kind, after the two governments, during the previous period, followed diplomatic methods in dispelling obstacles to joint dialogue, which is intended to solve pending files since the periods of governments that preceded the Al-Kazemi government , related to salaries of regional employees and security coordination. In the disputed areas, and the agreement on a mechanism for exporting oil from the region’s fields, and imports of border crossings in Kurdistan , and others.

The escalation followed a strongly-worded statement by the regional government, in which it confirmed that it “agreed to all the conditions of Baghdad within the framework of the constitution, but it (Baghdad) did not show, and for more than three months, any willingness to send the part of the salaries that it was sending,” which led to The regional government’s inability to disburse dues to its employees, ”calling on the Baghdad government to“ respect the constitutional rights and entitlements of the region, and fulfill its constitutional obligations towards it. ”

On the other hand, the Iraqi Ministry of Finance responded to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s statement, expressing its astonishment at the accusations it contained, at a time when the dialogue “made advanced strides”, affirming that “Baghdad started since the beginning of the dialogue from the concern for the rights of the citizens of Kurdistan and ensuring their salaries are secured.” Noting that, “it became clear to her that the financial payments sent to the Ministry of Finance of the region did not reach all the beneficiaries, and we have received signed requests from tens of thousands of district employees to achieve linkage of their salaries through banking mechanisms.”

She emphasized that “the regional government’s statement lacked the required precision in determining the basis of the problem, especially with the great flexibility provided by the federal government to facilitate reaching an agreement that serves the people of Kurdistan,” accusing the regional government of “not showing flexibility towards securing control over border crossings in the region, and from Then the attempt to blame Baghdad for the financial payments before resolving the import-related aspects, which represents an unacceptable disclaimer of responsibility.

And considered that “the basis on which the joint talks were launched came within the framework of the letter sent by the Ministry of Finance to the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government on May 19, which includes Baghdad paying 400 billion Iraqi dinars for the same month, and entering into intensive meetings to reach a final settlement between the two sides within A period of one month with the adoption of the Federal Financial Management Law as a basis for it, provided that non-oil imports to the region are counted and audited before sending any additional financial payments.

And she stressed “the need for the regional government to speed up fulfilling its constitutional obligations and duties, and to return to the negotiating table in the service of the public interest.”

Iraqi officials did not rule out that the escalation would affect the possibility of holding a new round of dialogue between the two parties, and an official in the Baghdad government told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the regional government’s accusations against Baghdad are unjustified and unexpected, at a time when joint understandings on the military side have taken place . And the return of joint coordination between the army and the peshmerga with the issue of fighting ISIS.

He stressed that “the accusations return the possibility of starting the dialogue round to square one, and today we are facing accusations that must be discussed and settled before any round of dialogue,” criticizing what he called “the haste to throw the accusations without justification.”

The Kurdish side had previously expressed optimism about resolving the outstanding disputes with Baghdad, relying on the Kurds’ relationship with Kazemi, and they provided him with support to take over the prime minister, according to specific understandings related to those files.

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