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Will new Iraqi government resolve Baghdad-KRG issues?

The peaceful formation of a new government in Iraq has raised hopes that the outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil might be resolved, but a number of obstacles stand in the way of it actually happening despite amicable relations among the countries leaders.
Barham Salih, Iraq's newly elected President stands during a handover ceremony at Salam Palace in Baghdad, Iraq October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani - RC1F1E655F20
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President Barham Salih on Oct. 27 announced that he has developed a proposal for resolving the dispute over Kirkuk between Baghdad and Erbil. Without going into detail, he said his plan focuses on the ethnic and religious components in determining its fate, ignoring the interests of outside players in discussions about the city's future. The recent agreement by Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites on the formation of a national government — with Salih as president, Adel Abdul Mahdi as prime minister and Mohammed Halbousi as parliament speaker — raised hopes among many Iraqis that the outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil might be resolved, but will the new leadership be able to deliver?

After nearly five months of post-election battling and political uncertainty, Iraqis are generally optimistic about the successful, peaceful democratic transition. The new leadership has been positively welcomed by major political parties as well as by Washington and Tehran. Some even see the new leadership as a “sign the country is stabilising after four decades of chaos and division.”

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