Perennial rivals the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) signed a four-year comprehensive 18-point agreement this week that addresses a host of sticking points between the two parties – ranging from the status of disputed Kirkuk and security coordination to greater ‘partnership’ in oil and energy matters. Consensus on these issues will remove several barriers to forming a new government in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The autonomous region held elections last September (MEES, 5 October 2018), but a mechanism for distributing key positions in the new government has since eluded the major factions. Deputy PM Qubad Talabani (PUK) said this week that whilst the KDP-PUK arrangement “should have been made earlier,” discussions over government formation between the two parties are due to commence shortly. (CONTINUED - 1069 WORDS)