Speaking to Roj News in Halabja about the Iraqi Parliament’s adoption of a resolution on the sale of Kurdistan’s oil through Baghdad, Cemal Ehmed, a Member of Parliament from the Islamic Unity Party, has said “it is the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) responsibility to enforce this legislation”.
The four Kurdish parties (Goran, The Patriotic Union of Kurdistsan, Islamic Unity and Islamic Community) represented in the Iraqi Parliament had presented a draft resolution to find a solution to the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil on the sale of oil. The draft resolution, which was adopted by Parliament, states that the KRG must send the 550,000 barrels of crude oil produced every day to Somo, the company authorised by the Iraqi government to negotiate and conclude Iraqi oil deals, and in return, the Iraqi government should release funds for the KRG’s budget and pay salaries.
Cemal Ehmed, also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Oil, stated, “This resolution was proposed by the four Kurdish parties and adopted in the Iraqi Parliament. The Kurdistan Regional Government must implement the stipulations of this legislation and respect the adopted articles. Unfortunately, officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government have already declared that they will not respect the legislation and will continue to sell the oil independently.”
Ehmed also said, “The Kurdistan Regional Government has a responsibility to solve this crisis and now has only two options. They will either implement this legislation and sell their oil through Baghdad and receive funding; or, they will continue to sell the oil independently and risk deepening the crisis in the Kurdistan region.”
The Kurdistan region has been crippled with an economic crisis for two years which on several occasions has led to civil unrest and clashes between the public and security forces. Many people, including the Peshmerga who have been fighting ISIS on several fronts in Iraq and Kurdistan, have either not been paid or have received partial salaries.
Ehmed maintained that the legislation passed in the Iraqi Parliament encompassed a solution to the economic crisis in the Kurdistan Regional Government. “We told the Kurdistan Regional Government that if selling the oil independently would solve the economic crisis and ensure salaries would be paid, then we would happily support you. If they cannot guarantee this, then they must respect this agreement reached with Baghdad. They must send all the oil produced in the next two months in order for Baghdad to release funds for the region” Ehmed concluded.