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Al-Monitor/Semafor summit: Iraq’s Sudani says 'solution is in Baghdad’ to issues with KRG

The prime minister also pleaded for more US investment in Iraq’s energy sector amid the oil dispute with Turkey, and addressed Iraq’s balancing act between the United States and Iran.
PM Sudani

NEW YORK — Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani denied there is a crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) at Al-Monitor/Semafor’s Middle East Global Summit on Wednesday, and said the solution to any disputes must come from within the country.

“The solution is in Baghdad. It doesn't come from outside, and this is very important to note,” said Sudani during an interview with Al-Monitor President Andrew Parasiliti. “There is no political crisis.”

Tensions between the Iraqi federal government and the KRG have risen considerably recently over budgetary allocations, oil sales and disputed territories, including Kirkuk. The situation prompted KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to write to US President Joe Biden earlier this month asking him for help, Amberin Zaman was first to report in an exclusive for Al-Monitor on Sept. 12

On Sunday, Iraq said it would send $1.6 billion to the KRG in three installments to help the autonomous government pay salaries, following Barzani’s visit to Baghdad on Sept. 14. On Wednesday, Barzani instructed the KRG Ministry of Finance and Economy to start paying July salaries upon receiving a deposit, according to a KRG press release.  

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