KRG delegation arrives in Baghdad to discuss oil disputes
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will visit Baghdad to resume talks on outstanding disputes between the regional and federal governments, the Department of Media and Information from the KRG announced on Monday.
"A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will visit Baghdad tomorrow to resume talks with the Federal Government regarding the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad, and the restoration of the rights of the people of the Kurdistan Region," the KRG's Department of Media and Information said.
The delegation is led by Minister of State for Negotiation Affairs with the Federal Government Khalid Shwani, President of the Diwan of the Council of Ministers Dr. Umed Sabah, Head of the Department of Coordination and Follow-up Dr. Abdul Hakim Khasro, and Head of the Kurdistan Region's Auditing Diwan Dr. Khalid Hadi Chawshly,
"The talks will be mainly about the federal budget and oil & gas issues," tweeted Lawk Ghafuri, the KRG's head of foreign media relations.
In a Feb. 15 ruling, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court contended that the Kurdistan Region's oil and gas deals are "unconstitutional".
However, the Kurdistan Region's highest judicial authority issued a statement on Saturday declaring that the Kurdish government's search for oil and gas in its territory is in accordance with the 2005 Iraqi Constitution.
The KRG has strongly opposed the court's claim of "unconstitutionality," asserting that it has practiced its rights per the articles of the constitution.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has defended the legality and constitutionality of the dossier on several occasions and reiterated that outstanding problems between Erbil and Baghdad should be resolved through dialogue.
The KRG also visited Baghdad in April and met with the Iraqi Oil Ministry. The ministry gave a proposal to the KRG delegation that the KRG said it would study and respond to in due time.
In early April, Prime Minister Barzani emphasized that the KRG believes the permanent solution for this dossier is to legislate the Iraqi federal oil and gas law mentioned in the Iraqi constitution.
"The KRG reaffirms its commitment towards the oil companies until reaching a final agreement, according to the constitution, under which the rights of all sides are protected," he said.