By Namo Abdulla

Washington, DC – It’s no longer just a war of words.

Disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraq’s Central Government in Baghdad have become more tangible over the past week as Kurdistan is accusing Baghdad of refusing to send the autonomous region’s 2014 budget.

Kurdistan’s budget, nearly $12 billion, amounts to 17 percent of Iraq’s whole oil revenue.

The immediate victim of the recent escalation of tensions between the government of Prime Minister Maliki and Kurdistan has been Kurdish public employees, who are reportedly yet to receive their monthly salary for February.

While the dispute is a domestic Iraqi problem, experts argue without strong international mediation might be necessary to prevent it from turning into a full-scale conflict that could lead in the breakup of the country.

But since the US troops are no longer present in Iraq, does the U.S. have influence over the largely-war-torn nation? Can the Obama administration play a constructive role in Kurdistan-Baghdad disputes?

To answer this question, Rudaw’s Namo Abdulla hosts a discussion for:

- Marina Ottaway, a prominent Iraq and Kurdish affairs expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

- Daniel Serwer, a distinguished analyst on conflict resolution who served as the executive director of the Iraq Study Group Report.

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