Iraq ‘to sue’ KRG and Turkey over Kurd oil sales

Kurdish oil

KT News:

The Iraq central government has announced plans to take legal action against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Turkish government over yesterday’s shipment of Kurd oil from the Turkish port of Ceyhan. In a statement today, Iraq’s oil ministry accused the KRG of “illegally” exporting the crude oil. Iraq oil ministry spokesman Essam Jihad said a legal complaint had been lodged with the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce against Kurdistan.

The KRG’s oil ministry has said this will be the “first of many” sales to international markets of oil piped to Turkey via a new Kurdistan Region pipeline. It said the sales revenues will go towards the KRG’s share of the Iraqi budget that is stipulated in the 2005 Iraq Constitution but has been partly withheld by Baghdad during the current dispute over oil revenue distribution.

The US State Department has expressed its concerns over the sale. A spokesperson is quoted by Today’s Zaman as stating: “We don’t support exports without the appropriate approval of the federal Iraqi government, and certainly we do have concerns about the impact of those continuing”.

“Our most immediate concern is for Iraq’s stability. We’ve had a longstanding position on this issue; as you know, that has not changed. And Iraq is facing a difficult situation. We’ve been clear that it’s important for all sides to take actions to help the country pull together and avoid actions that might further exacerbate divisions and tensions. So we’ll be in touch with both sides.”


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