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Erbil Rejects Debriefing of Kurdistan PM in Baghdad

Erbil Rejects Debriefing of Kurdistan PM in Baghdad

Wednesday, 25 November, 2020 - 07:30
The Iraqi parliament meeting in May 2020. (Reuters)

Kurdish officials have rejected a request submitted by a number of Iraqi lawmakers to debrief Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and the minister of natural resources.

Over 100 MPs submitted the request to grill the PM, minister of oil in the region and director of the Iraqi state-oil marketer SOMO in wake of what they said were suspicious figures submitted by Kurdistan over its oil exports. They also wanted clarifications over an oil deal the region struck with Turkey that extends to 50 years.

Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party rejected the debriefing request.

Senior party official Rebin Salam slammed the request as a “violation of the privileges of the Kurdistan Region parliament.”

The legislature is the only party that can grill officials from the region, he added, dismissing the request as illegal and criticizing Kurdish MPs who had signed it and saying they were serving “foreign agendas”.

The PM was meanwhile in Baghdad for talks on pending disputes with the Iraqi federal government.

A dispute had recently erupted between Baghdad and Erbil after the Iraqi parliament approved an emergency spending bill to allow the cash-strapped government to borrow abroad.

Differences emerged during the vote after Kurdish lawmakers objected to an article binding the Kurdish Regional Government to hand over revenues generated from regional oil exports as a condition for receiving its monthly share from the new funding plan.

The KRG is at odds with the national government in Baghdad about the allocation of its oil revenue.

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