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Talabani Reveals the Detail of Erbil–Baghdad Agreement. By Basnews, Shama Abdulla

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that the Erbil–Baghdad agreement is only on the Iraq budget of 2015 and regarding the salary and budget of KRG for 2014, he mentioned that both Baghdad and Erbil Financial Watchdogs would meet in a near future make a decision about it, based on who owes the other and compensate them accordingly.

On Wednesday, in a meeting with Kurdish journalists and reporters in Iraqi Kurdistan Capital, Erbil, KRG Deputy PM Qubad Talabani and KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee explained the details of Kurdistan region and Iraqi federal agreement and the Kurdish officials said that there is a good intention by Baghdad to resolve the disputes.

“Iraqi PM Haider Abadi behaves rationally and scientifically about the issues, not emotionally. We have noticed this kind of behavior since our first meeting with him,” said Talabani.

Commenting on the details of the agreement between Erbil and Baghdad, he mentioned that in the Kurdistan’s budget of 2015, Kurdistan Region will export 250,000 oil barrels per day from its oil through Iraqi main oil marketing SOMO Company as well as exporting 300,000 oil barrels per day from Kirkuk oil fields that constitutionally belong to the federal government of Iraq.

Talabani stated that in one of the meetings with Abadi, KRG Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami said that for gaining Kurdistan Region’s budget, KRG would export its oil and Kirkuk’s oil to get the 17% of KRG budget from Iraq. At that moment, Abadi took out a calculator and calculated some numbers then said, “We will give you an answer about that later.”

Talabani believes that if these conversations were to happen during the former PM Maliki’s era in Baghdad, Iraqi officials would have been immediately angry and it might have led into another crisis.

Commenting on Kurdish Peshmerga’s budget, he noted that they have emphasized on it in Baghdad meetings.

“Abadi proudly talked about Peshmerga forces in parliament meeting as well as the meetings with Kurdish officials in Baghdad,” added Talabani.

In regards to Peshmerga Salary, Talabani said that Abadi suggested one billion dollar to be provided for Peshmerga within the framework of Iraqi Defense budget.

“The one billion dollar budget for Peshmerga Salary will be provide 2/3 of Peshmerga’s salaries annually,” said the KRG official spokesman, Safeen Dizayee.

About the guarantee of implementation of the agreement and not repeating the same scenario with former Baghdad governments, Talabani stated, “there is no guarantee for not repeating the same scenario. The guarantee for that is the continuation of KRG’s successful policies because now Iraq have faced a financial crisis and this crisis is bigger than Kurdistan Region’s financial crisis. We are about to solve the crisis while they have just started to think about the solution for the crisis. For instance, now they want to increase the price of petroleum.”

“It is mentioned in the agreement that if Erbil or Baghdad doesn’t follow the agreement, then it will be finished. Kurdistan Region will no longer face restriction in terms of selling its oil because according to the agreement, the exportation of Kurdistan’s oil is a legal and it has been mentioned in the agreement,” added Talabani.

Furthermore, he acknowledged that both Iraqi Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Hussein al-Shahristani and Iraqi Oil Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi have played a big role in reaching this agreement that this time Baghdad did not impose any harsh conditions on the Kurdistan Region.

Talabani revealed that, a committee between Erbil and Baghdad Finance Watchdogs has been formed to investigate which side is in debt and they have to pay back the other side.

Also, Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari in Iraqi Parliament admitted that Baghdad is in debt with Kurdistan Region by more than IQD 16 trillion.

Talabani reported that the situation has changed now and the agreement has led to the rise of oil companies’ share in the world markets and Kurdistan Region’s economy has become part of world economy.

Talabani emphasized that Baghdad need the help of Kurdistan Region due to the decrease of Iraqi oil exportation as well as the drop in the oil price in the world markets.

“The policies of KRG’s oil is very clear and legal and based on the new agreement, if the 2015 Iraqi budget wouldn’t get approve Baghdad will compensate Kurdistan region for each month until the budget is approved. It is a good point because the salary of people in the Kurdistan Region won’t be delayed again due to the political games in Baghdad,” revealed Talabani.

Commenting on getting international debts for KRG, he said, “KRG will attempt to pass this draft law in the parliament soon. This law is not only for crisis time, but many progressed countries in the world have tried this debt polices for development and strategic projects.”

Source: BasNews, 04.12.2014


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