Prime Min­is­ter Barzani ad­dresses Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani vis­ited the Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day, May 28th and met with Dr. Yousif Mo­hammed Sadiq, Par­lia­ment Speaker, Jaa­far Ibrahim, His Deputy and Fakhraddin Qadir Arif, his sec­re­tary.

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani vis­ited the Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day, May 28th and met with Dr. Yousif Mo­hammed Sadiq, Par­lia­ment Speaker, Jaa­far Ibrahim, His Deputy and Fakhraddin Qadir Arif, his sec­re­tary.

Ini­tially Prime Min­is­ter con­grat­u­lated the par­lia­ment sec­re­tary board for their in­au­gu­ra­tion in their po­si­tions and wished them suc­cess in their du­ties. More­over, he re­it­er­ated the govern­ment’s full sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion with the par­lia­ment and said “we are ready for any in­ves­ti­ga­tions and ques­tion­ings when­ever we were called on to the Par­lia­ment.”

“I hope the co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the par­lia­ment and govern­ment is a fac­tor for bet­ter serv­ing the cit­i­zens of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.”

Par­lia­ment Speaker Sadiq wel­comed Prime Min­is­ter and thanked him for the ini­tia­tive to visit the par­lia­ment to give ex­pla­na­tions about the budget cri­sis, the oil ex­port is­sue and the Bagh­dad-Er­bil ten­sions.

“This is a sign of a very good start for the work of the new govern­ment and its co­op­er­a­tion with the par­lia­ment in the fu­ture,” Speaker Sadiq said.

Fol­low­ing the meet­ing, the Prime Min­is­ter and the Par­lia­ment Sec­re­tary Board met with the heads of the par­lia­ment com­mit­tees, where PM Barzani said that the govern­ment will an­swer in writ­ing within 15 days ques­tions ad­dressed by the par­lia­ment re­gard­ing budget cri­sis, oil ex­ports and other is­sues.

Af­ter that, the Prime Min­is­ter ad­dressed the par­lia­ment about the in­sights of the budget, oil and other is­sues.

PM Barzani gave a brief his­tory about the is­sues and re­it­er­ated that his govern­ment is al­ways ready and will­ing to solve the is­sues with Bagh­dad through di­a­logue, but if di­a­logue could not solve them, they have other al­ter­na­tives to seek and so­lu­tions to ap­ply.

Be­low is an ex­cerpt from the Prime Min­is­ter’s Par­lia­ment ad­dress:

“The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s pol­icy from the be­gin­ning has been based upon solv­ing out­stand­ing is­sues with Bagh­dad. We want to find a so­lu­tion and reach an agree­ment. Bagh­dad’s poli­cies are, how­ever, not rea­son­able. We have re­cently made sev­eral vis­its to Bagh­dad, and since 2005 we have made ev­ery ef­fort to reach an agree­ment re­gard­ing budget dis­tri­bu­tion, but we have not yet reached a res­o­lu­tion.

Re­gard­ing oil, we have just be­gun ex­port­ing. This step has been taken af­ter two years of ne­go­ti­a­tion with Turkey in which an agree­ment has been signed that per­mits the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion to ex­port its oil. We are thank­ful to our Turk­ish coun­ter­parts for reach­ing such an agree­ment and for im­ple­ment­ing it to the fullest.

Re­gard­ing the federal budget, we had only been re­ceiv­ing 10% in­stead of the 17% to which the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion is en­ti­tled. We have con­tin­u­ously taken ini­tia­tives to solve these fi­nan­cial prob­lems, and have made sev­eral vis­its to Bagh­dad.

We are abid­ing by the Ar­ti­cle in Iraq’s Con­sti­tu­tion which states that the oil and gas are owned by all the people of Iraq. We are ready to co­op­er­ate with Bagh­dad and SOMO re­gard­ing the ex­port of oil, in­clud­ing mon­i­tor­ing vol­umes so that they know pre­cisely how much oil is be­ing ex­ported. We have sug­gested work­ing with SOMO in both the ten­der­ing process, the sell­ing process and in or­der to en­sure trans­parency. We will work to­gether in this, but we will not cede con­trol to SOMO.

As for their re­quest for trans­parency, we are open to in­clude SOMO in ev­ery stage of the process and what­ever they re­quest un­der the con­di­tion of our re­ceipt of 17% of the budget share. Again, what we are re­ceiv­ing is only 10%. What the KRG is of­fer­ing in terms of de­liv­ery to its cit­i­zens dif­fers [from the rest of Iraq]; there­fore, to­day our people have higher ex­pec­ta­tion from their govern­ment and this is their right.

Amer­ica is aware of the de­tails of the out­stand­ing is­sues be­tween our Re­gion and Bagh­dad. In fact, I be­lieve that the Amer­i­can pol­icy re­flects the fact that the United States en­cour­ages both par­ties to reach an agree­ment that is suit­able for both Bagh­dad and Er­bil. This is our ex­pec­ta­tions of Amer­ica – that they re­main neu­tral. And this how they have acted so far.

Ac­cord­ing to Iraq’s budget law, the Federal Iraqi Govern­ment was sup­posed to pro­vide the budget on a monthly ba­sis to all of Iraq’s prov­inces and to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. From the start of this year un­til to­day, the Federal Govern­ment of Iraq has sent money to all of Iraq’s prov­inces ex­cept for the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. From the be­gin­ning of the year, Iraq has sent only one tril­lion di­nar to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. We would like to thank those lo­cal com­pa­nies who have pro­vided us with loans. In ad­di­tion, we have bor­rowed from some for­eign banks, and we also thank them. The govern­ment in Bagh­dad is sup­posed to have sent six tril­lion additional di­nar which they have not and are not will­ing to pro­vide to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion…

To­day I would like to say that the pol­icy of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Govern­ment is to never take a step back­wards. We want to reach res­o­lu­tions with Bagh­dad through di­a­logue, but if we do not ar­rive at any res­o­lu­tions then we have other al­ter­na­tives and we will take them. We will not stop here. Why have we started sell­ing oil? This is so that Bagh­dad un­der­stands full well that we are able to do this. In their eyes the KRG is over­step­ping its rights, and is un­able to reach a point where we can openly sell our oil. But we have proved to them that we are ca­pa­ble of do­ing so…

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion will soon be able to ex­port 250,000 bar­rels per day. This eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence is vi­tal for the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. We have achieved many gains through the poli­cies that the KRG has im­ple­mented. With­out the sup­port and back­ing of you, the Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, and the pub­lic, then un­doubt­edly we will fail. Bagh­dad can­not de­feat us, but if we are not united in sup­port­ing these poli­cies, then we will face cri­sis.

We will con­tinue sell­ing our oil through the Cey­han port in Turkey to the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, and we will try to reach an agree­ment with Bagh­dad. Our doors are al­ways open for ne­go­ti­a­tions. Our process of sell­ing oil has in ev­ery re­spect been in ac­cor­dance with the poli­cies and mech­a­nisms also used by SOMO, with­out any short­com­ings. We have been very care­ful to avoid caus­ing any prob­lems dur­ing the process and we will con­tinue to pay strict at­ten­tion to trans­parency, be­cause the dis­putes are sig­nif­i­cant and are sen­si­tive to both sides. We will work as hard as pos­si­ble to en­sure that our oil ex­port process re­mains trans­par­ent. This is in or­der for the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion to avoid any li­a­bil­i­ties or ac­cu­sa­tions. This process has sup­port­ers but also has its de­trac­tors. We do not want to face any prob­lems with this is­sue.

It is with con­fi­dence that I tell you that we have started ex­port­ing oil and we be­lieve we will reach a mile­stone at the end of the year, at which time we will able to ex­port up to 500,000 bar­rels per day.”

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani vis­its Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment and meets with the Speaker, his deputy, his sec­re­tary and head of par­lia­ment com­mit­tees, Er­bil, Wed­nes­day, May 28, 2014.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.