Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Kurdistan Region’s capital Erbil on Thursday, the first visit of its kind since the political crisis between Baghdad and Erbil.
An informed source told Alsumaria News that Abadi was received at the airport by the region’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, adding that Abadi plans to convene with the Kurdish premier and other officials.
Abadi was in Kurdistan’s city of Sulaimaniya on Wednesday, where he campaigned for his electoral list.
Iraqi parliament and local elections are slated for May 12th. Abadi is competing through his al-Nasr list.
Relations deteriorated between Baghdad and Erbil after the autonomous region voted in a popular poll in September for independence from Iraq, a step Baghdad deemed unconstitutional.
After several penal measures from Baghdad, including an embargo on international flights to Kurdistan, and a recapture of territories where sovereignty is disputed by both sides, a detente was witnessed over the past few months after Baghdad lifted the embargo and recent reports denote joint management of disputed regions. Baghdad has also sent long-awaited salaries to salaries to Kurdistan government employees.
But Kurdistan still views the recently published federal budget as unfair as it had slashed the region’s allocations to slightly above 12 percent, down from 17 percent. The region’s representatives had boycotted the approval of the document.
Both sides have frequently emphasized on dialogue to address disputed issues.