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Time for settlement

Economic disorder, sectarian strife and the northern oil dispute continue to threaten Iraq’s integrity. Only political unity can solve the country’s many problems

In mid-June, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, received a letter of intent from Hoshyar Mahmoud Zebari, Iraq's minister of finance, and Ali Mohsen Ismail Al Allaq, acting governor of Baghdad's central bank. The letter detailed the many shocks that have hit the country's economy since mid-2014, what it plans to do about it, and a request for financial assistance. It wasn't the first letter Lagarde had received from the region in recent times. Strapped for cash, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), had already been lobbying both the IMF and Baghdad to make sure it got a share of the $20bn in potential loans from the fund. At just about the same time as the letter was sent ou

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