Kurdish parties say changes in Iraq budget on oil 'unconstitutional'
Nechirvan Barzani, the Iraqi Kurdistan president, said he was "deeply concerned" about the amendments to the initial budget text.
Iraqi Kurdish leaders on Saturday rejected amendments introduced in the draft federal budget with regard to the oil industry, causing a parliamentary vote to be delayed once more since the budget plan was received two months ago.
According to the Kurdish leaders, the amendments introduced in the federal budget go against an agreement that was concluded in April over oil exports.
"The changes made by some members of the Finance Committee... are unconstitutional and against the agreement between the KRG and the federal government," the Kurdistan Regional Government said in a statement Friday. "We as the Kurdistan Regional Government will not accept this oppression and violation of the rights of the Kurdish people."
Iraqi Kurdistan's Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Saturday the amendments amounted to "treason" and an offense toward the rights of the Iraqi Kurdish people.
Nechirvan Barzani, the Iraqi Kurdistan president, said he was "deeply concerned" about the amendments.
In March, the federal government submitted the draft of the national budget to parliament where amendments were introduced.
For years, the Kurdish regional government generated billions of dollars in revenues from daily oil exports to Turkey, sometimes sending up to 475,000 barrels of oil per day without the approval of the Iraqi government.
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In March, the region was obliged to halt its sales after the ICC ruled in favor of Baghdad's rights over exports.
As per the deal concluded in April, oil exports were allowed to resume under the supervision of Baghdad's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) and revenues would be transferred to a bank account in Baghdad while the Kurdish authorities receive a share of the federal budget. However, Iraqi deputies introduced modifications to the original budget text.
The new text says that Kurdish authorities must export 400,000 barrels of oil daily to the federal authorities, in addition to non-oil revenues, in order for them to receive their share of the federal budget.
As a result of such differences, Kurds' rejection of the amendments have caused another delay in the parliamentary vote on the budget.