Kurdistan’s presidencies to meet on Iraqi federal court’s decision

File – Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani meets senior officials in Erbil

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Senior officials in the Kurdistan Region are scheduled to hold a meeting on the ruling of Iraq’s federal court regarding the oil and gas exports in the Region, an adviser to the president said on Sunday.

The Region’s four presidencies including the Region’s presidency, government, parliament and judicial council will meet in Erbil on Monday, adviser to the Region’s president Dilshad Shahab told Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-affiliated media.

They will discuss the Iraqi federal court’s decision, which deemed the Region’s oil and gas unconstitutional was “unjust and unconstitutional”.

On February 15, the Iraqi federal court stated in its decision that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) must hand over all crude from the Region and neighboring areas to the federal government.

It further said the KRG oil contracts with oil companies, foreign parties and states “invalid”, including exploration, extraction and sale agreements.

It also ruled to commit the KRG to allow the Iraqi oil ministry to “review all oil contracts entered into by KRG for the export and sale of oil and gas”.

In a statement, the KRG said the decision was “unjust” and “unconstitutional”.

“This decision by the Federal Supreme Court is unjust, unconstitutional, and violates the rights and constitutional authorities of the Kurdistan Region,” the KRG said in a statement.

“It is unacceptable and the Court must investigate further and consider the requests of the Kurdistan Region,” it added.

The KRG would not “forfeit the rights of the Kurdistan Region as codified in the Iraqi Constitution, and will continue its attempts to reach a constitutional solution with the federal government on this matter”.

It further said the court made the decision even though the KRG requested delay of the case so as to allow the opportunity for an agreement to be reached with Baghdad.

“The Kurdistan Regional Government will take all constitutional, legal, and judicial measures to protect and preserve all contracts made in the oil and gas sector.”

The KRG has been developing oil and gas resources independently of the federal government, and in 2007 entered its own law that established the directives by which the Region would administer these resources.

KRG crude is exported through a pipeline that runs from Iraq’s Kirkuk region to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Iraq’s federal government has long called for all oil exports in the country to go through it, having previously lashed out at Turkey in 2012 and 2014 for its role in refining and re-exporting oil produced in the Kurdistan Region.

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