Iraq government, Kurdistan strike oil exports, budget deal

A Kurdish engineer at an oil field in Dohuk province, north of Baghdad (file photo)

Iraq’s government and officials of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region strike a deal to resolve a long-running row over oil exports and budget.

According to a Tuesday statement from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office, the agreement was approved during a cabinet session and will come into effect at the start of 2015.

The deal stipulates that Kurdistan will export 250,000 barrels of oil per day while 300,000 barrels will be exported from the disputed province of Kirkuk.

Erbil will also receive 17 percent of Iraq’s annual national budget.

The deal is seen as a major step to enhance cooperation between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region in the fight against the ISIL terror group.

“This deal is a win-win deal for both sides,” Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari said.

“The (Kurdish government) needed more stability in its relations with Baghdad and the Iraqi (central) government is going through very serious financial difficulties because of the drop in oil prices, and because of…spending that has been taking place, so really we are struggling to increase oil production,” he added.

The Iraqi northern region’s independent export of crude has been a longstanding bone of contention between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government.

However, the issue has been overshadowed in recent months as both sides have been embroiled in their fight against the ISIL which has gained control over northern and western regions of the country.

By Press TV

 

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