Foreign Minister replaced


A number of news agencies are reporting that Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has replaced his Foreign Minister although we have been unable to verify this so far.

The reports suggest that Hoshiyar Zebari was replaced after he and other Kurdish Ministers refused to attend Cabinet meetings or run their Ministries after comments made by the Prime Minister earlier this week implying that ISIL fighters were being protected in the Kurdistan region.

The replacement to the Foreign Ministry is Hussain al-Shahristani, a Shia. He will take on the new role in addition to his role as Deputy Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has also accused the Kurdistan government of using the current civil war with ISIL as a means to create a breakaway state from Iraq.

In other news, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have taken control of the Bai Hassan oilfield in north-western Iraq. The field produces about 195,000 barrels per day.

The Iraqi parliament is due to meet tomorrow (Sunday) to try and elect a Speaker, President and Prime Minister. The Kurdish parties have indicated that they will attend but will not accept Maliki as Prime Minister.

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