ERBIL - The passing of the federal budget bill for the year 2021 by the Iraqi parliament is a milestone moment for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Kurdistan Region PM Masrour Barzani stated on Wednesday.
Barzani's remarks came after the Iraqi Council of Representatives finally approved the budget bill for the current year after several months of political disputes between Erbil and Baghdad on one hand, and among some Iraqi political parties, on the other hand.
"We did it," PM Barzani wrote on Twitter following the approval of the 2021 budget bill. "The federal budget law was passed today."
"Today, with the support of the majority of Kurdistani political factions, the federal parliament passed the budget law. This is a milestone moment for the KRG, from which we can start to recover from an era of unparalleled economic challenges," Barzani said in a statement published by his office.
"I thank the KRG negotiating team for their persistence through many months of hard work. I also thank the Kurdish blocs at the federal parliament for their efforts."
The Kurdish premier pointed out that although Erbil did not get everything it wanted, the law is consistent with the key principles of the constitution "from which we have not wavered. Positions dear to both sides have been recognized and we are encouraged and heartened by the progress made."
"I hope to see every article of the budget law implemented and federal payments finally restored to the KRG. Its full implementation would provide both governments with recourse against the disputes over payments since 2004. And it would also foster a new mechanism between the federal and regional auditing bodies. These steps will underpin the restored cooperation and trust, essential tenets of all we will go on to achieve," Barzani further said.
The Kurdish prime minister also revealed that he had talked to his Iraqi counterpart Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Wednesday, thanking him for his support and urging him to live up to these obligations and restore the payments as soon as possible.
"I have also reminded him that this country, and the Iraqi people, can do better by working by, with and through Kurdistan," he said, also commending his deputy, Qubad Talabani, and his team for their important work in Baghdad over the past few months.
"Today, the budget law has restored a sliver of hope about the relationship with the federal government. Though it cannot address the long list of disputes, or undo the unfairness of the past, I hope it will help bring more certainty to the lives of our citizens."