President Rashid proposes forming a local government in Kirkuk to reduce tensions[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] |Today[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Baghdad today - Baghdad
The President of the Republic, Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid, proposed an initiative to end the political crisis and security unrest in the oil-rich Kirkuk Governorate by forming a local government through consensus among its components, while the governorate issue has become a concern for both the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Last month, Kirkuk Governorate witnessed security unrest against the backdrop of the Iraqi government’s withdrawal from the advanced headquarters of the Joint Operations Command in Kirkuk and handing it over to the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Masoud Barzani to be its headquarters.
The unrest among the citizens of the governorate caused 4 deaths and about 15 wounded among civilians, while the streets of the city center witnessed shooting and burning of tires and wheels, forcing the Iraqi government to declare a curfew and the Federal Supreme Court intervened to stop the decision to hand over the headquarters to the Kurdish party.
The President of the Republic said in an interview with the Iraqi Al-Hadath TV channel in response to efforts to contain the crisis in the governorate, which is located in northern Iraq, that "consensus among the components of Kirkuk is necessary to form a local government that represents the people of Kirkuk, and the support of the federal government and the Kurdistan Region for this matter is necessary."
Regional ambitions to dominate the province are rising, especially by Turkey, which seeks to intervene through the Turkmen minority.
At the conclusion of a meeting that included the three presidential offices and the leaders of the state administration coalition, the Iraqi government took a package of decisions to contain the crisis in Kirkuk.
It was agreed to form a leadership committee from the coalition to visit the governorate, hold meetings with the official and social activities of all its components, find solutions to the immediate problems, most notably the issue of the headquarters of the general command of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and make administrative adjustments in a way that maintains balance between all components of the governorate.
The President of the Republic denied the deterioration of relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government, but he referred to the dispute regarding the issue of oil and gas, where he said that “the relationship between the federal government and the Kurdistan Region is good, and that the existing problems are the result of the lack of a detailed law on oil and gas,” noting that “its approval is sufficient to solve all matters.” "Problems."
The file of oil wealth management is considered one of the outstanding files between the two parties, as the Iraqi parliament is looking to approve the oil and gas law during the current session, in an effort to put an end to the constitutional dispute between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The oil and gas law in Iraq, which has been awaiting legislation in Parliament since 2005, stipulates that the management of all oil fields in the country must be under the responsibility of a national oil company and supervised by a specialized federal council.
The dispute between the two parties was renewed, especially in light of Baghdad's efforts to increase its production and increase its financial revenues with the aim of developing the oil infrastructure.
The autonomous Kurdistan region has been exporting its oil since 2009 in isolation from the federal government, relying on a law approved by the region’s parliament in 2007, which Baghdad considers to be in violation of the federal constitution.
Erbil, the capital of the region, exports oil via a pipeline to the Fish Khabur area on the northern Iraqi border, where it is pumped to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast.
On February 15, 2022, the Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling ruling that the regional government’s oil and gas law was unconstitutional. The decision also stipulated the invalidity of the oil contracts concluded by the Kurdistan government with oil companies, foreign parties, and countries.
Oil sales in the Kurdistan region via the pipeline with Turkey have achieved a significant increase over the past years, reaching a total value of about $12.3 billion in 2022. The
federal government resorted to arbitration procedures with Turkey in 2014 before the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, which in 2022 issued its decision. In favor of Baghdad.
The ruling led to the suspension of exports and obligated the Kurdistan government to negotiate with the government in Baghdad. The cessation of oil flow caused losses of about one billion dollars to the region, which was exporting 475,000 barrels daily through the Turkish port of Ceyhan.