ERBIL — The government of Kurdistan Region and Iraq have agreed to begin a new round of efforts to boost cooperation on oil and gas between Erbil and Baghdad, according to an official statement.
Kurdistan Region’s Minister of Natural Resources, Kamal Atrushi, and Iraq’s Oil Minister Ehsan Abdul Jabbar met on Sunday in capital Baghdad to discuss the prolonged disputes over oil production and marketing.
Iraq’s Oil Ministry said in a statement after the meeting that Abdul Jabbar had expressed willingness to address the technical issues and financial disputes with counterparts in Erbil “in accordance with the [Iraqi] constitution”.
He also said that Baghdad is ready to “turn the page” and begin a new round of dialogue on the technicality of the outstanding issues in hopes of finding a solution that could serve the best interests of the Iraqis.
The initiative was well received by the Kurdish oil minister who hoped that the dialogues would also open new horizons in the bilateral relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the statement added.
Erbil and Baghdad announced that they reached an agreement last December to address their oil disputes, according to which the former is required to hand over 250,000 barrels of oil monthly and 50% of customs revenues to the Iraqi government, while the later should release Kurdistan’s share from the federal budget.
However, both sides blamed each other for not exactly fulfilling their duties under the agreement, which has only added to the prolonged disputes.