The Erbil Agreement of 2010: A Milestone in Iraqi Politics

The Erbil Agreement of 2010 was a milestone in Iraqi politics, marking a significant moment in the country`s transition from authoritarianism to democracy. Signed on 19 November 2010, the agreement sought to resolve a political deadlock between Iraq`s major political factions and pave the way for a government of national unity.

The agreement was named after the city where it was signed, Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It was the result of months of negotiations between Iraq`s major political blocs, including the State of Law Coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi National Alliance led by Ammar al-Hakim, and the Kurdistan Alliance led by Massoud Barzani.

At the heart of the political deadlock was the question of who would become Iraq`s next prime minister, following the 2010 parliamentary elections. The State of Law Coalition, which had won the largest number of seats, was determined to hold on to power, while other political parties accused it of using sectarianism and corruption to retain its control.

The Erbil Agreement provided a compromise solution, whereby Nouri al-Maliki would remain prime minister but would share power with other political factions. It set out a series of principles for the new government, including the need to respect Iraq`s constitution, promote national unity, and combat corruption.

The agreement also established a new council, known as the National Council for Strategic Policies, which would oversee the implementation of the agreement`s principles and act as a mediator between rival political factions. It was seen as an important step towards stabilizing Iraq`s fragile democracy and ensuring that power was shared among all political groups.

The Erbil Agreement was widely praised by the international community, with United States President Barack Obama describing it as “an important step forward in Iraq`s democratic process.” However, the agreement was not without its critics, who argued that it did not go far enough in addressing the systemic corruption and sectarianism that had plagued Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Despite these criticisms, the Erbil Agreement represented a significant moment in Iraq`s political history. It demonstrated that even in the face of deep political divisions, compromise and dialogue can provide a way forward. It remains to be seen whether the principles established by the agreement will be fully implemented, but it is clear that the agreement marked a turning point in Iraq`s transition to democracy.