Friday, September 14, 2007


KRG spokesman calls for oil minister's resignation

(Voices of Iraq) - A senior Kurdish official on Thursday criticized statements recently made by the Iraqi oil minister on the relation between the federal government and Kurdistan region government, saying "it will impede the on-going negotiations on approving the oil draft law." "The recent statements by Shehristani will neither help the political process nor the on-going negotiations on the oil and gas and wealth sharing draft laws," Falah Mustafa, Foreign Relations Official in Kurdistan region government, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) over the phone.
Mustafa made comments to VOI on a statement made early this week by the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shehristani in which he said that his ministry would not recognize the oil contracts concluded by the Kurdistan government with foreign companies. On Sunday, Shehristani told the government-funded al-Sabaah daily that the oil ministry had no commitment towards the oil investment contracts signed by officials from Kurdistan region government.
Mustafa accused Shehrstani of being "negative all the way," saying that he should recognize that the moves taken by Kurdistan government on oil investment contracts "come in full conformity with the powers given to it by the Iraqi constitution." Shehristani made his statement in reference to the oil contracts concluded by Kurdistan government with Hunt Oil Group for oil investment in Duhuk Kurdistan province last week.
The Iraqi Oil Minister's statement sparked a wave of criticism in Iraq's Kurdistan region leading the official spokesman for Kurdistan government to call for al-"Shehrstani's resignation." Over the last seven months, marathonic negotiations have been underway among Iraqi political blocs on a draft law on oil. Among the main differences was the relation between the federal government and the local governments in the region(s) as to the conclusion of oil investment contracts.

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