Zebari: Government Formation Underway

By John Lee.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has recently given an interview with Rudaw English discussing his hopes for a new Iraqi government that can improve the relations between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government.

Despite a joint Kurdish--Iraq security operation to re-take Mosul dam with US air cover (initially reported as being solely Kurdish) relations between Baghdad and Erbil remain strained.

Hoshyar Zebari is himself Kurdish Iraqi, and he was speaking as Kurdish ministers make their way to Baghdad for the formation of the new Iraqi cabinet.

Zebari's political career nearly ended at the close of Maliki's tenure as PM when multiple Kurdish ministers left Baghdad in protest over an ongoing dispute over oil revenues.

These tensions continue as the KRG recently made a second sale of oil independent of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Company.

Zebari remarked that he was hopeful that new Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi was substantively different from his predecessor and that the Kurds were ready to re-join a constructive political process.

This tallies with some analysts' perceptions of Abadi as being far more conciliatory than Maliki. On the foreign relations of Iraq, Zebari mentioned that contrary to popular belief, the Gulf States are now firmly against ISIS, who perceive it as their number one threat.

(Source: Rudaw English)


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