Iraqi Kurds seek global economic support to fight ISIL

Deputy premier Talabani describes economic problems as 'the existential' and 'number one' challenge

Iraqi Kurds seek global economic support to fight ISIL

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) needs global economic support to fight ISIL, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said Thursday.

“It's important for our friends around the world to realize that this threat facing Kurdistan ... is real and without immediate direct support the experiment of Kurdistan is in danger," Talabani said during a visit to the U.S. capital.

No one is as effective in fighting the militants as the KRG, he said, however, the more troubling issue is that "the frontline against ISIS is in danger," which makes it a global concern.

Describing economic problems as "the existential" and "number one" challenge for the KRG among several other challenges, Talabani said it was also one of the most important problems for the world, too, in terms of the fight against ISIL.

For that reason, Talabani says he and the KRG delegation did not meet only with the U.S. but also with EU and other neighbors to seek economic support.

“We're here also to talk to our friends at the IMF as well the World Bank to ensure that any funds raised for Iraq ... makes it's way to Kurdistan," he said.

The KRG has said it can not pay the salaries of Kurdish peshmerga fighters who have been effecting in fighting ISIL.

The current KRG budget deficit is $400 million monthly and needs to be decreased to $100 million per month, Talabani said.

The biggest factor for the high deficit is the rapid decrease in crude oil prices, he said, adding that it was hard to heal the economy because the KRG could neither print nor devalue its currency like that of a “usual government.”

Political turmoil and instability between the central Iraqi government and the KRG is another challenge, according to Talabani. For decades the region has tried to become an independent state from central Iraqi government.

Asked whether the current economic challenge would cause the KRG to not prioritize becoming independent, Talabani said it was not a distraction but becoming independent was a process that required time.

He also said that there was not a concrete plan to liberate Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, from ISIL and noted that there needs to be a way to ensure that no other groups replace ISIL.

Last Mod: 15 Nisan 2016, 09:19
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