ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Ahead of a top Kurdish delegation’s visit to Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) spokesperson on Monday reminded that the Iraqi government continues to cut the Kurdistan Region’s share of the national budget.
KRG spokesperson Jutyar Adil told reporters during a press conference that although Kurdistan’s annual budget share is IQD 12.84 trillion, the central government in Baghdad only sends IQD 5.44 trillion.
Adil explained that the current budget cut is IQD 7.39 trillion and said Erbil “has elaborated this issue to Baghdad and, luckily, there is mutual understanding about the situation.”
Oil revenues, disputed territories, and the federal budget are some of the outstanding issues between the regional and federal government.
According to the spokesperson, the KRG is prepared to hand over the requested 250,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to Baghdad, noting that the ongoing budget cut is worth more than the demanded oil.
“There is ongoing communication and coordination between Erbil and Baghdad to find suitable solutions based on the constitution,” he told reporters.
“Kurdistan’s new government is working to increase transparency and improve governmental performance,” Adil added, noting that “both are a priority for the KRG’s ninth cabinet.”
Regarding the status of disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad – a dispute meant to be settled through Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution – the Kurdish official reminded that Kirkuk and Sinjar (Shingal) “are two similar matters.”
“Both consist of various minorities. The KRG has emphasized the importance of their participation in deciding the future of the two cities.”
On Sunday, a Kurdish lawmaker confirmed that a top delegation from the autonomous Kurdish government would visit Baghdad soon to discuss issues between Kurdistan and Iraq.
The KRG has established several technical teams to discuss unresolved matters between Kurdistan and Iraq, mainly regarding oil and budget cuts, two of the main disputes between Erbil and Baghdad.
The press conference was meant to highlight the major differences between them, and underline the positive initiative from both sides to develop their relationship through dialogue.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany