Kurdistan Confirms Oil Export Agreement

Further to our report last week that oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan will resume at the start of February, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has issued a statement confirming the agreement, and addressing the conflict with Baghdad over the budget.

The full statement is shown below:

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Barham Salih (pictured) this week in Baghdad met Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials. They discussed this year’s budget and agreed that oil exports from the Kurdistan Region would resume by February.

At a joint press conference following the meeting, Prime Minister Maliki described their discussion as positive and said, “One of the meeting’s key achievements was agreeing on the resumption of oil exports from the Kurdistan Region.”

As well as deciding to resume Kurdistan’s oil exports, Prime Minister Salih and Prime Minister Maliki agreed that the Kurdistan Region will keep a share of its crude oil to supply its local refineries and power plants.

Prime Minister Salih said that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government have agreed to review the draft law for Iraq’s 2011 budget, and that their respective finance ministries will work on the review together. A delegation from the Federal Ministry of Finance will visit the Kurdistan Region for discussions. On Tuesday the Iraqi parliament held a first reading of the budget bill, but it included inaccuracies about the KRG's share of the budget. The Kurdistan Alliance bloc has demanded that the bill be returned for amendments.

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