Snip ~ A delegation of Kurdish politicians is expected to visit Baghdad next week for further negotiations, according to the London-based Arabic Sharq al-Awast newspaper. The visit had been delayed when the tensions escalated two weeks ago ...

September 28, 2011

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Parliamentary Oil Commission close to agreement over new oil law

Baghdad - The parliamentary oil commission is currently studying three drafts for a new oil law, after a previous version was turned down by the Kurdistan Region's parliament

According to committee members, the committee agreed to 90% of the drafts, except to those articles that deals with the distribution of the oil wealth. The federal government in Baghdad wants to control the distribution, whereas the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) in Erbil wants to manage its oil wealth independently.

"The federal government refers to the constitution and believes it may manage the oil wealth. The provinces refer to the Erbil Agreement and believe a joint agreement has to be made," said Committee Member Bahaa Hadi, member of the State of Law Coalition (SLC) of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The Erbil agreement, by which the political leaders agreed to form a national-partnership government, brought to an end the 9-month political impasse over the country's three key executive seats of power. It also stated that an agreement should be reached over a new oil law.

Tension rose recently when the Kurds accused the federal government of passing a draft law without taking the Kurdish opinion into consideration.

On the other hand, Baghdad criticized Erbil for signing contracts with international oil companies without the consent of the federal Oil Ministry.

Beside the oil law, the tensions between Baghdad and Erbil are sparked by a list of demands that the Kurds believe they are entitled to after they lent their support to Prime Minister al-Maliki after the last election: the integration of the Kurdish defense forces (the Peshmarga) into the Iraqi army, paid for by the Iraqi government; drafting a new hydrocarbon law; and the implementation of Article 140 into the Iraqi constitution -- which authorizes payments to Kurds who were forced from their homes under Saddam Hussein, a comprehensive census of ethnic groups and a referendum to decide if disputed areas should fall under the control of Kurdistan Regional Government.

A delegation of Kurdish politicians is expected to visit Baghdad next week for further negotiations, according to the London-based Arabic Sharq al-Awast newspaper. The visit had been delayed when the tensions escalated two weeks ago.

http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZA...er_new_oil_law