New Iraqi premier Haidar al-Abadi speaks during a press conference ahead of the formation of a new government, in Baghdad on August 25, 2014
New Iraqi premier Haidar al-Abadi speaks during a press conference ahead of the formation of a new government, in Baghdad on August 25, 2014 © Sabah Arar - AFP/File
New Iraqi premier Haidar al-Abadi speaks during a press conference ahead of the formation of a new government, in Baghdad on August 25, 2014
AFP
Last updated: September 9, 2014

Iraq PM-designate pledges to resolve disputes with Kurds

Iraqi premier-designate Haidar al-Abadi on Monday pledged to resolve disputes with the country's autonomous Kurdish region that had jeopardised their participation in his government.

"My government is committed to solve all suspended issues with the Kurdistan Regional Government," Abadi said in a speech to parliament outlining his proposed government programme.

The issue of Kurdish participation in the government was a major potential sticking point, and their delegation flew from Baghdad to the city of Sulaimaniyah in Kurdistan on Monday to discuss the issue with senior political leaders.

US Deputy Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Brett McGurk and UN Iraq envoy Nickolay Mladenov also attended the meeting, an official from the Kurdish Goran Movement said.

When the parliament session opened, Kurdish MPs had apparently not received final word on participation and were waiting in the cafeteria, but they later arrived.

The Kurdish region and Baghdad are at odds over various long-running disputes on issues including territory and the country's vast oil and gas resources.

Relations between the two sides worsened considerably this year over what the Kurds said were late and insufficient payments by Baghdad to the region, which saw salaries in Kurdistan go unpaid.

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