Deputy PM says KRG reached deal with Baghdad over 2021 budget bill

KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani speaks in a press conference in Baghdad, December 22, 2020. (Photo: Azhi Omer)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said the Kurdistan Region had reached an agreement with Baghdad over the federal budget bill for 2021.

Talabani who led a high-level KRG delegation to Baghdad said in a press conference that the delegation had been able to reach a deal with federal government over the 2021 federal budget bill during its two-week visit to the Iraqi capital.

Talabani hailed the agreement and hoped the Iraqi Council of Representatives would adopt the bill.

“The [federal budget] has preserved the common interest of Iraq including the Kurdistan Region,” Talabani told reporters in Baghdad on Tuesday night.

The KRG deputy premier further said talks with the federal government would continue to secure the Region’s share of the budget in the fiscal deficit financing law, adopted by the Iraqi parliament last month, without Kurds consent.

“We did not come to discuss the law, we came to discuss its implementation,” Talabani noted, saying the delegation discussed details of the law with the government, parliament and political leaders.

“The issue of the Kurdistan Region is not only about salaries and budget, it is also several other dossiers which are important for Kurdistan, and they should be discussed on,” he said.

On Saturday, Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi said Baghdad and Erbil had reached a deal over the federal budget for 2021.

The draft budget law commits the Kurdistan Region to export 250,000 barrels of oil per day through Baghdad in exchange for the Region’s share of the federal budget, which is set at 12.67%.

Iraq has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and depends on oil revenues to fund 95 percent of its national budget.

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