Hiwa Shilani- Kurdistan24
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reached an agreement with Iraq’s federal government regarding oil revenue sharing, which will reportedly be implemented in January 2020, according to the country’s Minister of Oil.
A delegation from the KRG visited Baghdad this week for a second round of talks regarding disputes between Erbil and Bagdad. Thamer al-Ghadhban, Iraq’s Oil Minister, announced in a press conference following the meeting with the Kurdish delegation on Monday that “preparations for the 2020 budget bill” included discussions regarding an oil revenue sharing agreement and that “both sides reached a common understanding.”
At the same time, Nouri Sabah al-Dulaimi, Iraq’s Planning Minister, stated that the meeting between the KRG delegation and the Iraqi federal government witnessed positive developments and established a basic understanding as a foundation for future negotiations.
Al-Dulaimi also said that they were planning to meet next week as well to further discuss the remaining issues between Erbil and Baghdad and reach a final agreement, which is to be implemented in the new year.
It was reported that according to the new oil agreement between the two governments, the KRG is to hand over 250,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) of its oil to Baghdad, formalizing a previous accord.
The KRG delegation flew down to Baghdad on Saturday and held a series of meetings with senior Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi. The talks focused on several issues, the most important of which included the oil file, the KRG’s share of the national budget, and the salaries of the Kurdistan Region’s public servants.
Following a near-total breakdown of ties between Erbil and Baghdad in late 2017, the governments have converged on a range of issues, especially after Abdul Mahdi came into office in late 2018. Talks struck a pause recently as Baghdad’s focus shifted due to the protests that are still ongoing.
Negotiations on oil and gas exports have been among key issues between the two governments. The autonomous Kurdish government has exported its Oil independently since 2014.
Following the post-referendum fallout, the KRG agreed to send 250,000 bpd to Baghdad in exchange for the payment of civil servants’ salaries and other budgetary disbursements.
Editing by Nadia Riva