Monday, May 14, 2007


Iraq’s Kurds Warn: Either Oil Or Separation

Oil, Kurdistan, Politics
(Al Mashriq Newspaper) - 13 MAY - Kurdistan Iraq’s government warned the central government in Baghdad yesterday that any reduction in the Kurd’s share of oil will lead to their separation from the nation. Qubad Talabani, son of the Iraqi President and the Kurdish government representative to the US said, “The oil is a red line to us and oil will determine whether we remain part of Iraq or not.”
The Iraqi and Kurdish regional governments reached an agreement on oil in February but they did not establish a final agreement regarding other primary laws. The date to implement these agreements is at the end of this month. However, at the meeting in the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad last month, where many Iraqi politicians and oil experts attended, they determined that there were items added to the original laws. There were also problems with the creation of the national Iraqi oil company.
Qubad Talabani added, “This means we have returned to square one and this matter is unacceptable to us; we are working to modernize Iraq, build a new Iraq, establish new rules, new policies, and we must rehabilitate the oil infrastructure. If some want to return to the old policies of President Saddam’s regime, where the government completely controlled the oil; sector without any supervision by the people or Parliament, I will say, ‘I am sorry, the Kurdish do not need this kind of Iraq nor will we invest in it."
Talabani clarified that the Iraqi national oil company should be completely open to foreign investment and should cooperate with the international community. He further added, “There must be a new payment procedure instead of waiting for the Finance Minister’s discretion. I do not want Kurdistan’s oil to be stolen or the Kurd’s money to be used against them again. Iraqi oil experts believe that the new oil law will give foreign companies the biggest share of oil. The experts also do not trust the current government to invest the oil profits for the benefit of coming Iraqi generations."

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