Iraq and Kurds.. conflict on oil

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Iraqi oil field. File photo

ARA News

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) vowed on Wednesday the parties that buy Iraqi oil from the Central Government of taking legal procedures unless KRG has its share of the revenues of those sales.

The Ministry of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Region said in a statement released on Wednesday that if the Federal (Central) Government (headed by PM Nouri al-Maliki) did not share the revenue according to the Iraqi constitution, the KRG has the right to take action to get all the benefits which the Iraqi constitution committed the Central Government to pay back to the Kurdistan Region.

“The buyers, who fail to provide such payments to the KRG, facilitate the Central Government to violate KRG’s right of the share, handing over money belonging to the Kurdistan Region,” KRG Minister of Natural Resources said.

Talking to ARA News, Khurshid Alika, Master in Economics and International Relations, member of the Kurdish Society Economists of Syria and lecturer of economics at the University of al-Furat, said that the Iraqi constitution stipulates that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq receives 17% of its share of the whole Iraqi oil, and after attaching the disputed areas to the Kurdistan Region, “this must raise the Region’s share of the public budget to at least 25 percent of Iraqi oil rather than being reduced”.

“In case of the public budget of non-payment, they (KRG officials) must resort to the Iraqi constitution to demand the Central Government to repay the Kurdistan share of the public budget,” Alika said.  “They can also put pressure on al-Maliki regime through the U.S. and regional powers to pay the share of the KRG.”

Alika believes that the ministry’s statement does not affect those companies, but it imposes pressure on Kurdistan Region to speed up the decision of the referendum to impose the legitimacy of independence.

“Thus, the Kurdistan Region should work on legitimizing its economic independence through providing the five economic props such as oil, agriculture, industry, trade, and tourism,” Alika stated to ARA News.

Noteworthy, the Iraqi Central Government deducted the Kurdistan Region’s share of the public budget in response to the KRG’s export of oil extracted from its territory without agreement with the Central Government.

 

Reporting by: Azad Jamkari

Source: ARA News

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