Iraq in need of ‘federal, modern’ hydrocarbon law, says PM Barzani

The premier said the two governments have more in common than differences.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani delivering remarks at the inauguration of Van Steel company in Erbil, Nov. 28, 2023. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani delivering remarks at the inauguration of Van Steel company in Erbil, Nov. 28, 2023. (Photo: KRG)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday said Kurdistan Region officials and authorities in Baghdad should work together to enact a “federal and modern” oil and gas law that will be an achievement for the whole country.

Barzani’s remarks came during the inauguration of the Van Steel factory in Erbil, where the steel-making establishment can produce 700,000 tons of steel annually. 

Speaking of the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad, the premier said the two governments have more in common than differences.

"We need to enact a federal and modern oil and gas law that is based on the [Iraqi] constitution so that it enables us to resume oil export," Barzani said, adding that achieving the two outcomes would be an achievement for the whole people in Iraq.

The premier expressed his optimism that Erbil and Baghdad can work together and "achieve more".

"What is ahead of us and in common is much more than the existing issues," the premier said of Erbil and Baghdad cooperation, urging all sides to put the national interests above everything else. 

A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Monday visited Baghdad in order to continue budget talks and Erbi's financial entitlements. 

The delegation had "good dialogue" with the Iraqi officials, Barzani said, hoping the officials would reach an understanding.

However, the Kurdistan Region's share has been set in the three-year budget adopted in June, Erbil has not received its entitlements. Instead, Baghdad has paid the financial dues in "loans" in order for the Kurdish government to be able to pay its civil servants.