The Kurdish and Iraqi prime ministers meeting in Baghdad.
BAGHDAD - An important oil and budget deal that closes months of deadlock between Erbil and Baghdad “is a good beginning for solving other pending issues,” Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said after finalizing the deal in Baghdad.
He said the deal also includes 200 billion Iraqi dinars for the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces.
Barzani and the Iraqi government both confirmed details of the oil and budget deal, which resolved the two biggest hurdles of Kurdish crude exports and payments from the national budget to the autonomous Kurdistan government.
“We will send 250,000 barrels of Kurdistan oil as well as 300,000 oil barrels from Kirkuk oilfields to the federal government,” Barzani said following the agreement, which came after four rounds of talks with Iraqi Premier Haidar Abadi and Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
Both sides confirmed that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) would begin receiving the 17 percent of the national budget, to which it is constitutionally entitled but which have remained frozen since early this year.
Barzani added that the agreement includes 200 billion Iraqi dinars for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. “The money which will be sent by Baghdad will not be counted on the KRG budget but on the budget of Iraqi defense ministry,” he revealed.
“What we have done is not enough but it is a good beginning for solving other pending issues,” Barzani said. “I am happy with the agreement and it is a good achievement for all the parties.”
He praised the Iraqi premier, saying his “desire to solve the problems motivates us to reach more agreements.”
Among the important outstanding hurdles that remain between the two is a dispute over large swaths of so-called “disputed territories” that include oil-rich Kirkuk, and which the Kurds want resolved through a referendum.