Resignations, possible replacements of ministers and increasing violence have hit already fragile Iraqi politics in the last few days. Officials say 110 people were killed in the latest violence. These are indeed difficult days.
The Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government are at odds over issues including a swathe of disputed territory in north Iraq, oil contracts the region has signed without Baghdad’s approval, and power-sharing.
The rift between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Kurds is not the only headache.
Iraq’s government has been mired in crisis over a power-sharing agreement along sectarian and ethnic lines between Shiite Muslims and Sunnis. Many Iraqi Sunnis say they were sidelined and allowed the Shiite majority to gain power.
The Arab press is speculating whether Iraq is on the point of collapse.
As a regular visitor to Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil I disagree.
Iraq is producing more than 3 million barrels of oil a day making it one of the biggest producers in the world and ensuring billions of dollars are reaching federal coffers.
And I am proud to say BP and Anglo-Dutch Shell are producing more than 70 percent of Iraq’s income from the giant oil fields at Rumaila and Al-Majnoon.
A cascade of oil cash means millions of new homes are being built, new schools, ports and airports are all under construction, bolstering the very fabric of society.
The recent governorate elections are being seen as a success – although polls in Iraq’s restive Sunni dominated provinces have still to take place.
But those who voted turned out in their millions with more than half the electorate casting their ballots.
Given the security situation in Iraq I would suggest this is an extraordinarily brave affirmation of the spirit of the Iraqi people and again gives me hope they will pull through the current crisis.
My message is that countries like Britain are offering their support as friends do in dark days so freedom and the rule of law will prevail in a country recovering from decades of turmoil.