Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-‘Abadi has expressed willingness to resolve the dispute with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over the oil dispute that soured relations with his predecessor. Yet words have yet to translate into action on the urgent matter of suspended federal payments to Erbil, which has given Baghdad a week to cough up the cash and three months to resolve all other disputes, or face the loss of Kurdish participation in the federal government.

Mr ‘Abadi, in his first interview since taking office, says he hopes to be able to resolve outstanding issues with the KRG within three months. But, he adds, the KRG has to compromise over the oil dispute. In the interview with al-Iraqiya television on 15 September, Mr ‘Abadi suggested that Kurdish demands for energy independence could not be dealt with in isolation. Baghdad, he says, cannot agree to devolve more power to one region, while denying the same to other regions such as Basra, the hub of the Iraqi oil industry. (CONTINUED - 1131 WORDS)