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Iraq’s 2019 budget, passed by parliament 24 January, formalized the central government’s payments to KRG state workers and Peshmerga forces, further affirming the thawing relations between Baghdad and Erbil after the KRG’s ill-fated 2017 independence referendum ( MEES, 29 September 2017 ).
“The good thing is public servants’ salaries and Peshmerga are not subject to political disputes,” Kurdish MP Sarkawt Shamsaddin told the AFP.
Former Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi informally agreed to pay the workers, subject to an audit, in late 2017 ( MEES, 22 December 2017 ), but the most recent agreement formalizes the transfer and reverses the precedent of the last four budgets which stipulated that all payments to Erbil are subject to Erbil handing over crude export revenues. (CONTINUED - 215 WORDS)