SULAIMANI (ESTA) — French’s court ruling will not hinder our relations with Baghdad, said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in a statement on Saturday.
The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration in Paris on Thursday ruled against the Kurdistan Region’s independent exercise of crude exports to Turkey’s Ceyhan port.
According to the verdict issued by the French court, the Iraqi Federal government would be the only party in charge of oil exports through Turkey’s Ceyhan port.
“French’s court verdict which has been issued in the favor of Iraq against Turkey, will not hinder our relations with the Baghdad government,” KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources in the statement said.
“The KRG will continue in its relations with Baghdad until reaching a fundamental, legal, and constitutional solution,” it added.
Turkey stated that it will respect the verdict, allowing no shipments carrying crude from the Kurdistan region to leave its coastal port of Ceyhan without the consent of Baghdad.
The case at the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration in Paris has been running for almost nine years.
Iraq has claimed that Turkey has violated a 1973 pipeline transit agreement by allowing crude exports from Iraq’s Kurdish region without Baghdad’s consent.
The dispute dates back to 2014 when the KRG independent of Baghdad, connected its oilfields to the Turkish border crossing at Fishkhabor.
The Kurdistan Region heavily depends on crude oil exports through Turkey to meet local needs including providing the salary of the Kurdish government servants.
Reuters reported that Iraq halted crude exports from the Kurdistan Region and northern Kirkuk fields on Saturday after the country won the arbitration case against Turkey.
Turkey subsequently halted the pumping of Iraqi crude from the pipeline that leads to Ceyhan, according to Reuters.
Baghdad, ever since, has been trying to bring Kurdistan’s energy resources under federal control.
February last year Iraq’s federal court ruled against the KRG’s oil and gas legislation which had been passed by the Kurdish parliament in 2007 to independently deal with crude exports without returning to Baghdad.
February’s 2022 ruling stated the KRG oil and gas legislation is “unconstitutional”, and invalidated the KRG’s contracts with foreign oil firms.