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Kurds put conditions on participation in new government

Kurds, who hold 62 seats in the Iraqi Parliament, have placed conditions on their participation in the new government, which won parliament’s confidence yesterday.

Leaders in the Kurdish parties said their participation in the new government is subject to fulfilling their demands within the next three months, otherwise they will withdraw from the government.

During an emergency meeting yesterday, the Iraqi parliament granted confidence in the new Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.

The Kurdish parties’ position comes after holding an emergency meeting in Sulaymaniyah yesterday evening to evaluate the new phase which will begin with the formation of a new government. Following the seven hour meeting under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Najevan Barzani, the head of the Kurdish negotiating team Hoshyar Zebari held a press conference in which he announced his government’s unconditional support for the new government.

Zebari said: “We will follow up during that period with the new government’s decisions concerning budgeting and article 140 of the constitution relating to controversial documents, and the military aid provided to the Peshmerga forces and if our demands are not achieved, we will not join the new government.”

President of the Presidium of Kurdistan Fuad Hussein said the Kurds’ participation is conditional, adding: “The power balance in Iraq has changed after the Islamic State controlled Mosul, and if our demands are not met within three months, then will we will announce to the world, our people and Iraq as well as allied nations that we are out of Iraq’s new government.”

Previously, Kurdish deputies said that paying the salaries of the Peshmerga forces and the region’s staff would be the first Kurdish demands in the negotiations to form a government.

The Iraqi federal government has stopped transferring the region’s 17 percent share of the general budget following dispute with Erbil, forcing Kurdistan to export oil without Baghdad’s approval to alleviate its financial crisis.

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