Both the United States and the United Nations welcome an agreement reached by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi government earlier today on oil and budget disputes.
“We congratulate the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments on reaching a broad agreement on revenue management and oil exports originating from the Iraq Kurdistan Region and Kirkuk,” Marie Harf Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department said in a Statement. “This resolution, in line with its constitution, allows all Iraqis to benefit equitably from Iraq’s hydrocarbon sector.”
With only eight days remaining of a three-month deadline Kurdish leaders had given to the new Iraqi government, KRG premier Nechirvan Barzani and his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi struck a deal earlier today that ended months of stalemate over KRG’s budget cut and oil exports from the Kurdish Region.
“I commend both Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and KR-I Prime Minister Nechirvan Barazani for their leadership and spirit of compromise in reaching this encouraging agreement,” said Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Representative to Iraq. “Only through direct and frank dialogue can agreements be reached that serve the interests of Iraq and the Iraqi people,” Mr. Mladenov added.
According to the agreement, the KRG exports the total of 550,000 barrels of oil, including 300,000 barrels from Kirkuk oilfields through its own pipeline, but the revenues will go to Iraqi central government, in return the KRG will receive its 17 percent share of Iraq’s national revenue.
Mr. Mladenov called for steps to be taken on the agreement, including payment to the Peshmerga forces who are recognized as “regional guards” in the Iraqi constitution, but have remained unpaid by the Iraqi central government since 2007.
“I look forward for the implementation of the agreement as swiftly as possible, including oil exports from the KR-I and Kirkuk, as well as the disbursement of the KRG budget from the Iraqi general budget, and the payment of Peshmergas’ salaries,” he said.
The UN Representative urged “all Iraqi leaders to continue with the same spirit of unity and compromise regarding urgent priorities, including the adoption of the Federal budget for 2015.”