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Iraq: Abadi plays conciliator, as Baghdad fashions new relationship with Kurds
The re-opening of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports to international flights in mid-March, followed a few days later by the first central government payments in four years to state employees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), reveals a tentative thaw in Erbil-Baghdad relations. The newly-empowered federal Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi is now strong enough to compromise with his chastened counterparts in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – which Iraq’s western allies have been strongly encouraging him to do.
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