Barzani warns Bagh­dad that the KRG does not want to hear the threats to cut its bud­get again

PM Barzani dis­cusses oil and bud­get is­sues with Kur­dish MPs and min­is­ters

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani and his deputy Emad Ahmed met with Kur­dish MPs and min­is­ters in both Er­bil and Bagh­dad on Mon­day Jan­uary 27, 2014. The meet­ing was held to dis­cuss and an­a­lyze the re­cent talks be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad re­gard­ing Iraq’s 2014 bud­get and the oil pro­duc­tion and ex­port process.

Barzani gave a speech and stated that the pur­pose of the meet­ing was to in­form the Kur­dish MPs and min­is­ters in both Er­bil and Bagh­dad about the oil and bud­get is­sues.

“We in the Kur­dis­tan Coun­cil of Min­is­ters hear news from Bagh­dad and on the me­dia out­lets that is un­true and not based in fact,” Barzani told the at­ten­dees.

Over the past sev­eral years, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion has wit­nessed enor­mous change. Kur­dis­tan’s res­i­dents along with other na­tions in Iraq voted for the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion, to which the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) re­it­er­ated its com­mit­ment, Barzani said.

“The KRG has set the course of its eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment very pre­cisely, and it will try to ful­fill it be­cause the sta­bil­ity of Kur­dis­tan is the ba­sis of eco­nomic sta­bil­ity and de­vel­op­ment,” Barzani said.

Prime Min­is­ter Barzani then men­tioned de­vel­op­ments in the sec­tors of ed­u­ca­tion, health, hous­ing and in­fra­struc­ture as well as the con­struc­tion of Er­bil, Sulaimaniyah and Do­huk air­ports.

He ad­di­tion­ally de­clared that over the past 7 to 8 years the KRG’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Bagh­dad and Kur­dis­tan have been in­ces­santly in­tent on im­ple­ment­ing con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions in or­der to guar­an­tee a brighter fu­ture for the res­i­dents of Kur­dis­tan.

“One of the most sig­nif­i­cant points con­cerns oil and gas. The Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment, within the frame­work of the Iraqi con­sti­tu­tion, voted on the Oil and Gas Law and the ses­sion was broad­cast live on me­dia out­lets.”

Barzani added that he had of­fered a draft plan to Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nouri al-Ma­liki in 2007re­lat­ing to oil and gas and a mech­a­nism for dis­tribut­ing its rev­enue. He said they had agreed on the draft and that he had been hope­ful a fi­nal agree­ment would be reached. How­ever, “The KRG’s con­struc­tive ef­forts did not have a pos­i­tive out­come un­for­tu­nately.”

“We agreed with the Iraqi govern­ment that if the two par­ties failed to reach an agree­ment on the law, then each party could work with its own oil and gas law within the frame­work of the Iraqi con­sti­tu­tion.”

He added: “Eight years ago, nei­ther of us nor oil ex­perts knew how much oil there was in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. Few of us dreamed that Kur­dis­tan would be in­cluded on the world en­ergy map.”

“More­over, who could pre­dict that re­la­tions be­tween the KRG and Turkey would evolve into a trade and en­ergy re­la­tion­ship,” Barzani said at the meet­ing.

What Bagh­dad wants is dif­fer­ent from our so­lu­tion, Barzani stated. The dif­fer­ence is that Bagh­dad says the KRG should do the porter­age and then Bagh­dad would put the oil on the mar­ket.

He warned that Bagh­dad wants to con­trol ev­ery­thing and it would use its au­thor­ity as a red card against the KRG again. He said that Bagh­dad is threat­en­ing to cut the KRG’s share of the na­tional bud­get again.

“This time, we told Bagh­dad in no un­cer­tain terms that we do not like to hear threats to cut the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s bud­get be­cause such a move is not in the in­ter­est of Bagh­dad or the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion,” Premier Barzani told the as­sem­bled MPs and min­is­ters.

He asked them to sup­port the KRG in its fight for its con­sti­tu­tional rights for the sake of the res­i­dents of Kur­dis­tan.

He also de­clared that the Kur­dis­tan bud­get has to be or­ga­nized as it is in other fed­eral coun­tries, mean­ing the Kur­dis­tan par­lia­ment should de­cide on its own bud­get.

“This is not a fed­eral sys­tem and this does not hap­pen in any other coun­try in the world. What Bagh­dad is do­ing to us, it does to all the other prov­inces of Iraq.”

Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani and his deputy Emad Ahmed met with Kur­dish MPs and min­is­ters in both Er­bil and Bagh­dad on Mon­day Jan­uary 27, 2014.

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