The central government of Iraq and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have agreed to work on amendments to a draft hydrocarbon law and to reach an accord by the year-end, potentially defusing a major conflict. The agreement was reached at a meeting between Kurdish prime minister Barham Salih and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad early this week.
[Editor's comment: Al-Maliki depends on the Kurdish Alliance with their 60 votes to keep his job. Oil is only one of the issues over which the two parties disagree. There are at least two other issues that keep festering: the nature of Iraq's federalism and the degree of autonomy exercised by the KRG, and the status of the so-called disputed territories, particularly oil-rich Kirkuk, which the Kurds consider part of their historic homeland.]
Source: arabnews.com, October 28, 2011