09 September 2014, News Wires – Iraq’s fresh government has named a new oil minister in a move that could pave the way to improved relations between Baghdad and Kurdistan on oil contracts.
Former vice president Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who has previously served as finance minister, was handed the key ministerial position by the new government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
A Shia with links in the region of Iraq close to Iran, Abdul-Mahdi is seen as less of a federalist and more in favour of regional autonomy.
This could have been a key factor in his appointment as the Baghdad administration attempts to resolve disputes with the Kurdistan Regional Government over the production and export of crude oil.
As well as Abdul-Mahdi’s appointment, former prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari has been named foreign minister, with Kurdish former deputy prime minister Rowsch Shaways named finance minister.
Defence and interior ministers will be announced within a week, Adabi has said.
Veteran Kurdish politician Fuad Masum has been appointed president, with immediate former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki named as one of three vice presidents, along with Iyad Allawi and Usama al-Nujaifi.
Three deputy prime ministers have also been named: Hoshyar Zebari, Baha Araji and Saleh al-Mutlak.