President Barzani strongly condemns Baghdad to cut Kurdistan share
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.