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Budget not Sole Concern of Kurdistan: PM Barzani

The Kurdistan Region’s concerns are not limited to its budget share or financial issues only. The identity and national question of the people of the autonomous region, their place and demands within a national framework are also Erbil’s priority to guarantee, PM Masrour Barzani said on Sunday.

Barzani made the remarks during a meeting with the heads of the Kurdistan Region’s factions at the Iraqi Council of Representatives and members of Iraq’s parliamentary finance committee on Sunday to discuss the ongoing talks between Erbil and Baghdad, in which, he made it clear that the Kurdistan Region would not give up on its constitutional rights and demands, while reiterating commitment to its duties in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution.

He also hoped that the remaining disputes between the sides would be addressed in the frame of the Iraqi Constitution.

“Productive exchange today with Kurdistani factions of the Iraqi Parliament to review priorities, including upcoming talks over the federal budget; progress between Erbil/Baghdad on oil/gas and security cooperation, and economic reforms at home. Talks to continue.” PM Barzani wrote on Twitter.

According to a statement by premier’s office, officials shed light on a variety of issues, detailing “previous violations of the Kurdistan Region’s constitutional rights and requests by former Iraqi governments.”

“On Oil: The Council of Ministers’ presidency provided data and key information on oil exports, recovered financial dues and monthly oil revenues, and how they are used to remunerate the public employees. The presented data was obtained from the audit carried out by Deloitte on the oil and gas sector in the Kurdistan Region, which supported the KRG’s push for transparency,” reads the statement.

Concerning the regional debts, the Kurdish prime minister pointed out that Erbil’s debts were part of the negotiations with Baghdad, and that “cuts implemented by the federal government to the Kurdistan Region’s share of the Iraqi budget were compounded by a financial crisis,” related to expenditures on hosting nearly 1.8 million IDPs and Syrian refugees, while fighting the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. Source

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