Is Barzani Assuming Talabani’s Role As Mediator in Iraq?

By Abdel Hamid Zebari for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Following Barzani’s return from his European tour at the end of last week, a series of meetings has been held in the region between Kurdish factions under Barzani’s supervision and Iraqi parties who have visited him in the last few days.

Barzani’s European tour lasted for more than a week, during which he participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and visited Germany and Northern Ireland.

Upon his return, he oversaw the meeting between the political offices of his party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. He then welcomed a delegation from the Sadrist Movement and another from the American Embassy in Baghdad. Some sources also indicated that he welcomed a delegation from the national coalition, of which al-Maliki is a member. Barzani ended his week by overseeing a meeting for Kurdish parties.

All the meetings and reunions were centered on the current Iraqi political crisis, the protests in the Sunni regions and how to pull the country out of the general political problems from which it suffers.

The data collected by the Iraqi Kurdistan Region presidency show that Barzani is playing a key role in the political process in the country, especially with the absence of Talabani from the political scene due to health complications.

All the information issued by the region’s presidency regarding these meetings indicates that Barzani promised to keep up the efforts to calm the situation and join all the parties together to reach a unanimous agreement to end the tensions in the country. Consequently, Iraq would move into a new phase through persistent steps to build the main sectors in the country and banish all concerns and worries.

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