The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan agreed to join with the Coordination Framework and back Mohammed al-Sudani as the new prime minister in return for concessions including monthly budget payments to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
In December Baghdad sent the first payment of $135 million to the Kurds. This was a major reversal for many members of the Framework who were the biggest critics of the KRG. Previously parts of the Framework tried to block sending money because of the Kurds’ independent oil policy and ties to the United States and Turkey.
There are still some objections however. One parliamentarian filed a lawsuit and another MP from Kataib Hezbollah submitted questions to parliament over why the government was sending money. These are unlikely to have any affect as long as the Framework leadership supports the political bargain over the government.
Prime Minister Maliki originally stopped sending funds to the KRG over its oil policy which he claimed was illegal. Afterward deal after deal was made for the Kurds to export oil for Baghdad in return for money but the KRG never complied because it wanted to boost its independent oil exports. Starting with Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi Baghdad restarted payments in return for Kurdish support for the government. That’s the same reason why they continue under PM Sudani.
Al Aalem, “The Framework hawks remain silent about the financial payments to Irbil … Is there a prior agreement?” 12/14/22
Agence France Presse, “Iraq Nullifies Kurdish Oil Deals,” 11/24/07
Al Mada, “The government sends 400 billion dinars to the Kurdistan region,” 12/13/22
- “The powers of the prime minister and the explosion of the factions from the cities are the most difficult provisions of the political agreement,” 12/15/22
Zebari, Abdel Hamid, “Kurds claim Iraq owes $1 bn for oil pumped in 2011,” Agence France Presse, 3/15/12