KRG signals opposition to loan bill approved by Iraqi parliament  

Iraqi and Kurdistan’s flags

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Thursday that it had consistently expressed readiness to finding a “peaceful and fair resolution” to issues between the Region and Baghdad within the framework of the Iraqi constitution, in response to Iraqi parliament’s vote on the loan bill without Kurds’ consent.

In a statement, the KRG said expressed concern and signaled its opposition to the fiscal deficit financing law approved by the Iraqi parliament early on Thursday.

The Iraqi parliament held a session early on Thursday to vote on the fiscal deficit financing bill, which allows the federal government to borrow 12 trillion Iraqi dinars ($10 billion) in internal and external loans in order to pay salaries of public servants. The loan was decreased from 42 trillion Iraqi dinars.

Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the session due to their concern about the Kurdistan Region’s share set in the fiscal deficit financing bill.

The bill was adopted by a majority vote of the Shia and Sunni lawmakers at dawn.

“Since the formation of the ninth cabinet, we have continued to demonstrate goodwill toward our counterparts and participated in meaningful dialogue in Baghdad to that end. The Kurdistan Regional Government has signed several agreements and memoranda of understanding with current and former Iraqi governments on these issues in the spirit of collaboration,” the KRG said.

“We have maintained our commitment to constitutional obligations to assure the safeguarding and respect of the constitutional rights and entitlements of the people of Kurdistan. We will continue to defend the Kurdistani peoples’ rights, and denounce political injustice and marginalization,” it added.

It further said the Kurdistan Region presidency, the KRG and the Kurdistan Parliament as well as the Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad would meet in the near future to have an official response to the legislation.

The fiscal deficit financing law commits the Kurdistan Region to hand over non-oil revenues and an amount of oil that SOMO indicates to the federal government in exchange for an amount of money as payment for the Region’s public servants.

Earlier on Thursday, Kurdish lawmaker Ahmed Haji Rashid said in a post to its official Facebook page that Shia blocs in the Iraqi parliament had told the Kurdish MPs that the federal government had transferred budget to the Region for over two years, but the Region had not exported its oil through Baghdad.

“We had been sending money [to the Region] without sending a barrel of oil [to Baghdad] and we had been showing good wills for two years,” Haji Rashid cited the Shia blocs as saying. “There will be no money without oil. There is an election ahead of us and our people will not accept it.”

The Region’s presidency said in a statement that it would make “every effort” to defend the rights and entitlements of the Kurdistan Region’s people.

“The Kurdistan Region is looking with concern and utmost attention to this issue and will make every effort to defend the rights and entitlements of the people of Kurdistan,” it said.

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