SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Finance, Awat Sheikh Janab, said that the Kurdish people’s legal rights and constitutional entitlements are not bargaining chips.
The Minister’s words came amid a meeting with the Turkish Consul General to the Kurdistan Region, Mevlut Yakut, and his accompanying delegation in Erbil earlier on Tuesday.
The Minister also underlined that there are ongoing negotiations on a high political level between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad over controversial amendments to the draft of the federal budget bill, which is set to be voted on next Thursday inside the Iraqi parliament.
Iraq’s Council of Ministers in mid-March approved the federal budget bill for the years 2023, 2024, and 2025.
The country suffered from a lack of budget in 2022 due to political conflicts that emerged following October 2021 election to form a government.
Under the Iraqi constitution, the Kurdistan Region is also entitled to a portion of the national budget. But the arrangement collapsed in 2014 when the Kurds began selling crude independently from Kurdistan.
The Finance Committee in Iraq’s parliament made changes to articles 13 and 14 of the federal budget draft last month.
“We did not expect these changes,” Janab said. “We are waiting on the Iraqi prime minister to play a positive role,” He added.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also recently said it opposed changes in the draft Iraqi federal budget that infringe on the rights of the Kurdish people.
KRG called the changes in the draft budget, introduced by members of the parliament’s finance committee, unconstitutional and “inconsistent with the agreement signed between the regional government and the federal government”.