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Iraq's Cabinet Approves Draft 2015 Budget

Iraq’s cabinet on December 23 approved a draft 2015 budget worth about $103 billion in a move made possible by improved ties between Baghdad and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

The draft budget envisions a deficit of about $25 billion dollars with revenues based on a protected oil price of $60 per barrel.

Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari says the plan would be presented to the Iraqi parliament for approval on December 24 after minor adjustments to some details are made by a committee that is headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Iraq did not have a budget for 2014 because the Shi’ite-led government of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was unable to pass one due to deteriorating relations with Sunnis and Kurds.

Ties with Iraq’s Kurdish region have improved as Baghdad and Iraqi leaders have cooperated in the fight against Islamic State militants.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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