Iraqi government reaches major oil deal with Kurds - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Iraqi government reaches major oil deal with Kurds

Posted: Updated:
iraqisoldier.jpg iraqisoldier.jpg

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi government on Tuesday reached a deal with the Kurdish local authorities in the country's north to exchange oil from the autonomous region for a nearly 20 percent share of the national budget, officials said.

The deal resolves a months-long impasse that had undermined national unity amid the fight against the Islamic State group — a battle in which Iraqi soldiers and Kurdish peshmerga troops have joined forces against the Sunni extremists.

The agreement stipulates that the semi-autonomous Kurdish government will release 550,000 barrels of oilevery day to the Iraqi oil ministry, more than half of which will come from the disputed Kirkuk oil fields, according to Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

The Kurds took control of the Kirkuk fields to prevent them from falling to the Islamic State group during its summer blitz that captured much of Iraq's north and west.

In exchange, the Kurds will receive the 17-percent share of the national budget allocated to their region, plus installments of as much as $1 billion to boost the capabilities of Kurdish peshmerga fighters battling the Islamic State militants.

Earlier this year, Baghdad cut the stake supposed to go to the Kurdish region — which in 2013 totaled about $12 billion, according to Zebari, a Kurd. The central government withheld the funds after the Kurds began transporting oil from fields inside the autonomous zone to Turkey against Baghdad's wishes.

"This deal is a win-win deal for both sides," Zebari told The Associated Press. "The (Kurdish government) needed more stability in its relations with Baghdad and the Iraqi government is going through very serious financial difficulties because of the drop in oil prices."

Iraq's Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said in a televised statement that joint committees will be formed to follow up with the implementation of the agreement and address any lingering issues "in order to establish fruitful relations based on the constitution and the principles of partnership and fairness."

The regional Kurdish government says it needs that money to meet its growing security demands in the face of the threat by the Islamic State group, and to pay public-sector employees and fund much-needed infrastructure development.

The Kurds and Baghdad have feuded for years over a host of issues, chiefly among them the rights to oilresources in the north and disputed territory like the city of Kirkuk, which the Kurds want to add to their autonomous zone.

Since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi came to power in September, the Kurds have pushed for a quick resolution, saying they will give him three months to resolve the oil dispute or they would boycott hisgovernment.

Last month, the government in Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital, agreed preliminarily to sell 150,000 barrels of oil per day to the federal government in return for a one-time payment of $500 million.

The U.N. envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said he looks forward to the "implementation of the agreement as swiftly as possible," noting that "only through direct and frank dialogue can agreements be reached that serve the interests of Iraq and the Iraqi people."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • San Carlos woman accused of killing family then living with bodies

    San Carlos woman accused of killing family then living with bodies

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:33 AM EDT2017-09-19 13:33:04 GMT

    A San Carlos woman murdered her 14-year-old daughter and her spouse, then planted a gun next to his body and stayed in the family's home with the bodies for several days without calling police, a prosecutor alleged Monday.

     

    A San Carlos woman murdered her 14-year-old daughter and her spouse, then planted a gun next to his body and stayed in the family's home with the bodies for several days without calling police, a prosecutor alleged Monday.

     
  • SDSU student killed trying to cross Interstate 8

    SDSU student killed trying to cross Interstate 8

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:32 AM EDT2017-09-19 13:32:43 GMT

    San Diego State and students are mourning the loss of a student whose family says died while trying to cross Interstate 8 on foot Saturday night.    

     

    San Diego State and students are mourning the loss of a student whose family says died while trying to cross Interstate 8 on foot Saturday night.    

     
  • City to kick off Hepatitis A prevention campaign

    City to kick off Hepatitis A prevention campaign

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:22 AM EDT2017-09-19 13:22:21 GMT

    With the number of documented hepatitis A cases continuing to rise, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego County health officials and several civic leaders will join together Tuesday to kick off a “Vaccination, Sanitation and Education” campaign to urge the public to take appropriate precautions.

     

    With the number of documented hepatitis A cases continuing to rise, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego County health officials and several civic leaders will join together Tuesday to kick off a “Vaccination, Sanitation and Education” campaign to urge the public to take appropriate precautions.

     
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.