World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq's Finance Ministry has begun paying an initial $650 million to Iraqi Kurdistan for oil companies working in the autonomous region, Deputy Prime Minister Rosh Nuri al-Shawish told Reuters on Tuesday.
Baghdad and Kurdistan agreed last month to draw a line under a dispute over oil payments, after the latter pledged to continue exports and Baghdad said it would pay foreign companies working there.
Kurdistan has angered Baghdad by signing deals with foreign oil majors, such as Exxon and Chevron, contracts the central government rejects as illegal.
"The federal Finance Ministry has started transferring the first oil payment of $650 million to the Kurdish region," said Shawish, a Kurdish member of the central government negotiating team.
In April, Kurdistan halted shipments of its oil in protest over what it said were overdue payments from the central government to companies in the Kurdish region.
It later resumed shipments, but threatened to cut them off again if there was no agreement on payment.
Kurdish Energy Minister Ashti Hawrami said on Sunday payments would be transferred to the autonomous region that same day, offering hope the long-running conflict is easing.
The oil contracts row is part of a broader battle between the Baghdad government and Kurdistan over oil rights, territory and regional autonomy that is straining Iraq's uneasy federal union.
Police with batons and plastic shields jostled with Wade's supporters as they pushed them back from the airport, making several arrests.
This latest move likely adds to tensions in the tiny Gulf state, where there are clashes with police in many Shi'ite areas almost every day
Lavrov said Moscow would respond if its interests, or the interests of Russian citizens, were attacked.
The United States and European Union have held out the threat of further sanctions on Russia if it does not implement the Geneva agreement.
An American from Pennsylvania, a Syrian citizen and a London resident conspired to export items as a portable scanner used to detect chemical warfare agents, according to the US Justice Department
The five-member Snohomish County Council voted unanimously to table the issue of whether to impose a moratorium on construction within a half-mile of landslide hazard areas
Police officers had earlier stopped the saloon car at traffic lights and were taking the occupants for questioning when the bomb exploded, the ministry said.
Crimean Tatar leader Kirimoglu says he will return to the peninsula amid rumors he is banned
Qatar's dispute with three fellow Gulf states, which withdrew their envoys from Doha last month, is "over", the Qatari foreign minister said
Al-Shabaab has used Ayn as a launch pad for attacks on allied forces in Baldwin, capital of the south-central Hiran region.
"Efforts designed to end years of suffering have failed," declares UN
During Wednesday's session, judges heard a number of witnesses for the prosecution and adjourned the hearings to allow them to hear more witness testimony
Twelve Palestinians, including six children were injured when an Israeli aircraft fired on them in the city of Beit Lahia.
The move envisions forming a unity government within five weeks and holding national elections six months.
Carriages flipped off the track in the accident near Likasi, a mining town between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi in the copper and cobalt-rich southeast
Candido Van-Dunem, who had held the post since 2010, will be replaced by Joao Lourenco, a former secretary-general of the MPLA ruling party