Pres­i­dent Barzani strongly con­demns Bagh­dad to cut Kur­dis­tan share

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani says that Bagh­dad’s de­ci­sion to cut Kur­dis­tan’s share of na­tional budget is like dec­la­ra­tion of war against Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. Barzani also de­scribed the de­ci­sion as an “il­le­gal act”.

Barzani’s re­ac­tion came fol­low­ing Bagh­dad de­ci­sion to block Kur­dis­tan’s share of na­tional an­nual budget. Bagh­dad says it was in re­sponse to Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment’s (KRG) de­ci­sion to ex­port oil through a pipe­line to Turkey’s port of Cey­han.

Pres­i­dent Barzani re­ceived Turk­ish new am­bas­sador to Iraq on Fe­bru­ary 25, 2014. Barzani told the am­bas­sador that the KRG wants to im­prove its po­lit­i­cal and trade re­la­tions with neigh­bor­ing Turkey.

Re­gard­ing the oil ex­port and the Er­bil-Bagh­dad dis­putes, Barzani told him that the KRG has not vi­o­lated Iraq’s con­sti­tu­tion. He stated that it is the KRG’s right to ex­port oil.

He fur­ther added that the cur­rent on­go­ing con­flict in Iraq is due to wrong poli­cies of the rulers in Bagh­dad.

Re­gard­ing the Kur­dish and Shi­ite al­liance, Barzani said that the two sides have had a his­toric re­la­tion over the past years.

He stated that the Kurds do not have any prob­lem with the Shi­ite, and the only prob­lem is how the Iraqi rulers be­have in Bagh­dad.

They also talked about the re­gional sit­u­a­tion and the up­com­ing Iraqi par­lia­men­tary elec­tion, which is ex­pected to be held at the end of April.

The Kurds say that the con­sti­tu­tion gives them the right to ex­ploit and ex­port oil and gas in­de­pen­dently.

They say the Iraqi federal govern­ment in­ter­prets the con­sti­tu­tion ar­ti­cles ac­cord­ing to its in­ter­est.

The KRG and the Iraqi govern­ment have held three rounds of talks to reach an agree­ment over the Er­bil-Ankara en­ergy con­tracts, but all the talks have ended with no con­vinc­ing out­come.

The talks failed be­cause none of the sides agreed on the term that who has to sell the Kur­dish oil in the in­ter­na­tional oil mar­ket.

They also have not yet reached an agree­ment on where the rev­enue of the Kur­dish oil should be kept.

Bagh­dad says that the rev­enue has to be kept in Iraq’s De­vel­op­ment Fund in a bank of New York in the US and the KRG says it must be kept in the Turk­ish Halk Bank next door.

Er­bil and Bagh­dad have been at odd over the past years when the Iraqi par­lia­ment dis­cusses the budget.

The KRG says that Bagh­dad has never sent more than 10 per­cent of the to­tal na­tional rev­enue, while its share is about 17 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the con­sti­tu­tion.

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