Oil law resolves Erbil-Baghdad disputes, Qubad Talabani says

3/16/2023 7:44:21 PM
Talabani explained how an Oil Law could help the Kurdistan region and Baghdad to better cooperate، during a speech at the seventh Sulaimani Forum.

On day two of the Sulaimani Forum 2023, KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said the council of ministers [of KRG] had passed the budget law, a crucial step. However, there are observations on the law, but it has passed.

“We are a quarter of the way there,” Talabani added. According to KRG law, the budget shall be approved in the national assembly divided along multiple lines in the past few years.

The DPM noted that half of the budget law is implemented, and the country has a lot of money; if shared equitably, it would be a significant step forward. Talabani also questions the fair distribution of previous KRG budgets. For the past few years, Sulaimani and Halabja provinces have needed more funds from Erbil.

Talabani said, “ We need to finalize, once and for all the oil policy in this country, and we have fallen short of addressing the oil issue.” The Erbil-Baghdad dispute has now boiled down the oil law that remains to be addressed.

“We will never address the financial problems between Kurdistan and the rest of the country until we have an oil law, an oil law that is very explicit, in terms of roles and responsibilities of everyone involved. We are in charge of extracting the oil, who’s in charge of exporting the oil, and who’s in charge of selling the oil, and then who’s in charge of receiving the money, and who’s in charge of distributing that money, hopefully equitably.” Talabani said in answering a question about the Erbil-Baghdad disputes.

The Kurdistan region has been barred from getting its budget share since 2014. The reasons are essentially the KRG’s handling of its oil sector, which Baghdad strongly disagrees with.

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