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Baghdad makes oil deal with the KRG

The agreement reached in early December still faces many obstacles, writes Kirk Sowell

Adel Abd al-Mahdi became Iraq's new oil minister on 8 September when parliament approved prime minister Hayder al-Abadi's government. Abd al-Mahdi, who has been both finance minister (2005-06) and vice-president (2006-10 and 2010-2011), belongs to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), a party known for its staunch Shia Islamism. Yet Abd al-Mahdi has a reputation for political pragmatism and personal affability, making him broadly acceptable for sensitive posts.  Abd al-Madhi hit the ground running, visiting the besieged oil refinery in Baiji, Salah al-Din his first day on the job. He also visited Basra in an effort to smooth over complaints about neglect. His boldest move, though, cam

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