The Presidency of the KRG Council of Ministers meets Iraqi Parliament’s Kurdistan Region factions
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani: We will not give up on our constitutional rights and demands.
Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – On Sunday, the Presidency of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers held a joint meeting with the heads of the Kurdistan Region’s political factions in the Iraqi Parliament and members of Iraq’s parliamentary finance committee.
During the meeting, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, briefed attendees on ongoing talks between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government of Iraq. He expressed his hopes that disputes between Erbil and Baghdad would be addressed within the framework of the Constitution of Iraq, and that the two governments would engage in a real and balanced partnership.
The concerns of the people of the Kurdistan Region are not limited to the federal budget or financial issues, the head of the KRG’s Council of Ministers stressed. The question of national identity and the people of the Kurdistan Region’s rights and demands within a national framework are still top of mind as the fight to guarantee constitutional rights continues.
Prime Minister Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani spoke in-depth on several topics with the parliamentary factions. They detailed previous violations of the Kurdistan Region’s constitutional rights and requests by former Iraqi governments.
On Oil: The Council of Ministers’ presidency provided data and key information on oil exports, recovered financial dues and monthly oil revenues, and how they are used to remunerate public employees. The presented data was obtained from the audit carried out by Deloitte on the oil and gas sector in the Kurdistan Region, which supported the KRG’s push for transparency.
On Regional Debts: The Prime Minister and his deputy noted the Kurdistan Region’s debts were part of the negotiations with the federal government of Iraq. Cuts implemented by the Iraqi government to the Kurdistan Region’s share of the federal budget were compounded by a financial crisis, notably related to expenditures providing for more than two million Internally Displaced Persons and refugees, as well as the war against the so-called Islamic State, resulting in significant debt.
On Constitutional Rights: The KRG has expressed its readiness and commitment to constitutional duties. However, it will in no way compromise on its constitutional rights and prescribed powers.
The Presidency of the KRG’s Council of Ministers added that the government in Erbil, on July 30, 2019, assigned members to the technical committees which will lead talks with the Iraqi government. Discussions with the federal government in Baghdad continue on the subjects of public spending, oil and gas, debts, Kurdistani areas that are not under the administration of the Kurdistan Region, in the hopes of reaching an agreement for the 2020 federal budget. Working together to identify a long-lasting resolution to those issues, within the framework of the Constitution of Iraq, and pushing for a national consensus remains the priority of the KRG.
The Council of Ministers also identified laws issued by the Iraqi Parliament that do not respect the principles of the constitution and of a federal system.
The meeting ended with the visiting parliamentary factions praising the initiative, agreeing to hold further joint meetings to enhance coordination and improve the flow of information.