Negotiations with Baghdad will continue despite federal court ruling: KRG spokesperson
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In his weekly press conference on Thursday, Dr. Jotiar Adel, the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) spokesman, announced that negotiations with Baghdad will continue.
“Despite the Federal Court’s opposing decision, negotiation with Baghdad will be continuing.”
Recently, the Iraqi Federal Court ruled against the KRG’s budget share owed for the last two months of 2022. The ruling has drawn strong criticism from Kurdish officials.
The KRG has refused to abide by the ruling, asking Baghdad to respect its previous executive decision to transmit the funds to the Region.
“In the Council of Ministers' meeting this week, discussions focused on the necessity of the negotiations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to continue,” Dr. Adel said.
“In these negotiations, we will continue to work with Baghdad to finalize the 2023 budget, implement article 140, and settle other issues, including the restructuring of the federal court, within the framework of the constitution. In fact, the Court’s rulings over the past year have put pressure on the Kurdistan Region.”
Moreover, he emphasized “the importance of abiding by the political agreement between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to form the government; the Kurdistan Region is serious on this matter.”
He added that “Baghdad has no reason to not reach a deal with the KRG—all relevant data and information has been shared and carefully assessed during the negotiations.” This includes collaboration on the new budget and hydrocarbons law.
In multiple meetings, the KRG has also asked Baghdad to provide compensation for the people in Kurdistan who “suffered mentally, financially, and physically from the previous regime.”
For the past two years, Baghdad has refused to send KRG’s share of the federal budget. “It is the KRG's duty to request Baghdad for compensation and an apology for the people in the Kurdistan Region.”
Nevertheless, the KRG will continue to pay the salaries of its civil servants in a timely manner. In the past, the KRG was forced to cut employee salaries due to budget cuts from Baghdad.
“With or without the 200 billion Iraqi dinar budget share owed to the KRG, we will continue to pay our employees, because it is our duty to ensure our people are paid their rightful salaries. The Iraqi government, however, must fulfill its financial responsibilities.”
Furthermore, “we support and collaborate with the Iraqi government in combating the smuggling of US dollars outside the country,” said the KRG spokesman.
However, he stressed, “we must not forget that the currency policy of Iraq is under the control of the federal government. But, we will continue to assist the Iraqi government to prevent these violations within the framework of the law.”