KRG Looks To Call Abadi’s Bluff On Salary Gambit

Baghdad has ostensibly offered to pay KRG salaries in return for oil revenue, a deal it patently can't afford. Political maneuvering looks to have been the motive. No deal is likely.

After a period of relative quiet, politicians in Iraqi Kurdistan and the central government in Baghdad are engaging in a new round of brinkmanship. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-‘Abadi offered to pay Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) public salaries on 15 February in exchange for handing over its oil exports, but this appears entirely unaffordable.

In accepting the offer on 17 February, the KRG insists that no oil will be handed over until salaries are paid, emphasizing that Baghdad is in no position to deliver. With little prospect of the arrangement ever coming to fruition, both sides’ statements appear primarily driven by political maneuvering, rather than an attempt to reach a solution. (CONTINUED - 1028 WORDS)