Kurdish Political Unity Fragments As Barzani Reaches Out To Baghdad

The Iraqi parliament’s 21 September vote to remove Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari from office underlined the fractious state of Kurdish politics (MEES, 23 September). Mr Zebari belongs to the semi-autnomous Kurdistan region’s dominant party, President Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

It is no coincidence that Mr Barzani made his first visit to Baghdad in three years shortly afterwards, where he held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-‘Abadi. Rival Kurdish parties that have traditionally cooperated with the KDP in Baghdad voted against Mr Zebari, shattering the perception of tacit unity. Mr Barzani’s visit should be viewed in light of his party’s newly weak position and need for allies. (CONTINUED - 1169 WORDS)