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Baghdad Never Granted Erbil with Its Due Financial Rights: PM Barzani

The Iraqi federal government has never granted the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with its due financial rights, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has stated.

Barzani made the remarks during an interview on August 26 with a number of Arabic TV channels, Al-Iraqia, Zagros, Al-Sharqiya, Al-Hadath, Al Jazeera, and Alhurra, in which he pointed out that Erbil never received %17 share from the federal budget as articulated in the Constitution of Iraq.

The Kurdish premier argued that the majority of remaining disputes between Erbil and Baghdad are because the Constitution has not been implemented so far.

“Our relations with the federal government of Iraq has been based on consensus, balance, and partnership. We agreed on these principles, but what we did not see was consensus, balance and partnership,” PM Barzani added.

He further reminded that the Peshmerga forces were able to protect the oilfields in Kirkuk and other disputed areas when the Islamic State (IS) attacked Iraq and the Iraqi army withdrew from various areas.

“The Peshmerga forces defeated Daesh and gave a chance to the Iraqi army to reorganize itself.”

Concerning the disputes between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, Barzani explained that there is no disputes between the people of Kurdistan and the people of the rest of Iraq, but the problem is with those politicians who violate the legitimate rights of the Kurds.

“Otherwise, the gates of Kurdistan are open for all our brothers and sisters in Iraq.”

In regard to the violations of Iraq’s sovereignty and foreign interventions, the Kurdish premier noted that Erbil considers the presence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters in Iraq as a reason for the recent Turkish bombardments and ongoing operations in Iraq.

He also emphasized that the PKK is expected to honor the achievements of the Kurds in the Kurdistan Region by avoiding any moves which could harm its interests.

PM Barzani also shed light on the importance of the participation of the Kurdish delegation in the recent strategic dialogue between Iraq and the US, highlighting Washington’s role in mediating between Erbil and Baghdad.

To address the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, he added, the jurisdiction of both sides should be defined. However, Barzani said that they welcome the efforts and role by all friendly and allied countries to help the Kurdistan Region and Iraq reach an agreement. Source