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Erbil warns Baghdad it may sell oil 'on its own'
Erbil warns Baghdad it may sell oil 'on its own'

Iraqi Kurdish administration’s parliament speaker urges the central Iraqi government to uphold its part of an oil agreement

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The regional government in Erbil has the right to sell its own oil if Baghdad does not uphold its part of an oil agreement, the Iraqi Kurdish administration’s parliament speaker said Saturday.

Speaker Yusif Muhammad Sadiq said that the Kurdish administration had alternatives if the central government continued not dispersing the share of the regional government from the federal budget.

"We prioritize our relations with Baghdad and maintain our loyalty to the mutual agreement. However, we have the legal right to sell our oil independently without consent from the central government, if they do not distribute our share from the budget and do not honor the agreement," Sadiq said.

The Iraqi Kurdish administration and the central government reached an oil agreement on Dec. 2, 2014, according to which Erbil could export oil in exchange for a share in Baghdad’s budget.

The agreement specified that the Iraqi Kurdish administration would export 250,000 barrels of oil per day, with the Kirkuk province providing 300,000 barrels per day under the supervision of central government’s oil marketing company, SOMO. In return, Baghdad was to provide 17 percent of the national budget to the Kurdish regional government.

Sadiq said that the regional government had responsibilities to its citizens and could resort to not only selling oil independently but also signing free trade deals.



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