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'No pretext to delay' Iraqi Kurdistan parliament elections, says Masoud Barzani

Iraqi Kurdish leader, in exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, cites "positive atmosphere" of budget talks, discusses prospects for oil law, relations with the United States, Iran, China and issues affecting the Kurdish people in Iraq and the region. 
Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani (R) talks to then-US Vice President Joe Biden during a meeting in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Iraq, on April 28, 2016, upon the latter's arrival on a surprise visit.

SALAHUDDIN — In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor at his headquarters in Salahuddin, in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), saw no reason to further delay Kurdistan's parliamentary elections, and expressed hope that a "positive atmosphere" surrounding recent talks between the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on the budget could be conducive for talks on a long elusive oil law.

“I wouldn’t say the budget decision is 100% to our liking, but I believe it is a positive step forward,” said Barzani, who served as president of the Kurdistan Region from 2005 to 2017. 

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