Kurds sue Baghdad for their dues

Baghdad – Journal News
In a new development in the tense relationship between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government in Baghdad, witnessed the corridors of Iraqi courts to raise a lawsuit by the Kurdish parties against the Ministry of Finance to claim the debts owed by the capital to the people of the province.
As a result of the deteriorating situation in the region as a result of political intersections between the President of the region Massoud Barzani and parties in the province of Sulaymaniyah, four parties submitted a request to the federal government to allocate large sums of money to the region to act as dues and salaries of employees and workers without regard to the legitimate demands and the consequences of Kurdistan.

“The Iraqi government has cut the budget of the Kurdistan Region since 2014, and for information, the Iraqi government since 2005 and so far has not sent more than 70 trillion dinars from the budget of the Kurdistan Region, the budget of the Peshmerga forces alone has not been allocated since In 2007, which amounts to more than 12 trillion dinars, so instead of dreaming of agreements with the Iraqi government, it is better to take a decision to establish a new system for salaries of employees of Kurdistan, and it is necessary that this system is appropriate for the economic and social situation in the region.

“The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq adopted a policy of unifying the oil decisions away from the federal government in Baghdad, where they agreed with oil companies without the knowledge of Baghdad, not to mention the adoption of an oil policy to contract with companies completely different from the policy of the federal government . Contracts were awarded to companies in disputed areas not belonging to the province. And built a pipeline to export oil through Turkey without the consent of the federal government, prompting Baghdad to consider the oil exported by the region “smuggled” from Iraqi territory, and to inform international companies of the decision to deter them from buying it. The government of the province also adopted all these steps at a time when the federal government was paying 17 percent of the country’s total oil revenues to the region without being officially aware of the oil exported by the region, or by smuggling by truck to neighboring countries (Iran, Syria and Turkey) Export pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan to international markets. This prompted Baghdad to stop or delay payment of dues. The provincial government was delayed in paying the pensions of hundreds of thousands of its employees and entitlements to studies and projects contracted with international companies, not to mention payments to oil companies operating in the region. And worsened things with the collapse of oil prices during 2014-2016, and increased security risks with the occupation of the province of Nineveh province in June 2014. The government of the province continued its positions from the federal government in spite of the new challenges and their negative repercussions, without taking into account the reduction resulting in the investments of oil companies in the region.

“The crisis has worsened in the last two years. It is becoming increasingly clear that the geology of the region is not as promising as initially thought. Companies are starting to announce the reduction of reserves and production. “
“The first statistics on the region’s oil fields indicated production of about 1 million bpd in this period,” he said. However, the production of fields ranged about 225 thousand barrels per day, while the production of the field, “Bay Hassan” and “dome Avana” in the field, “Kirkuk” about 275 thousand barrels per day. Peshmerga forces seized control of the Kirkuk field when the region was liberated in 2014. The Kirkuk field was run by the Iraqi government’s North Oil Company. As is known, the province of Kirkuk is a disputed area between the federal government and the provincial government.

The legal expert, Tariq Harb, told the “Journal” on Wednesday, that “four Kurdish parties have established an invitation to the Federal Supreme Court that the government has approved in the budget law that the export of oil in the Kurdistan region should return its resources to the central government to be spent on the region as Is the status of customs and taxes which are federal and must also return their resources to the federal government in order to exchange the quota. “

“The federal government has failed to pay the money demanded by these four Kurdish parties, in addition to not being acquitted by the Federal Court on the case they filed,” the expert added.
For his part, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan that there is no solution to this issue only through understandings and political agreements between the Center and the region.

“There is no willingness either by the federal government or the provincial government to make any understanding on the outstanding financial problems between the two parties and each party is silent about the other side,” MP Abdul Qadir Mohammed Mouloud told the daily al-Jornal on Wednesday.
He denounced the birth of the two governments and demanded their national sense if they are patriotic, they should take care of the simple citizens who are in the Kurdistan region, and who respect these benefits.
He pointed out that “one of the priorities of the democratic authority if they are preparing themselves democratic authorities really must be concerned with the affairs of citizens and if they are patriotic, the same thing is the Kurdish citizen is the victim between those authorities.”
The coalition of state law supported what the Kurdish MP said by stressing that the solution lies in the hands of the Kurds themselves because the Kurdish party is able to solve this problem and deliver the dues of the Kurdish people to all employees.

“The Kurdish authority came through an electoral process from the heart of the Kurdish street and now the one who supports the Kurdish government is the Kurdish street itself and the one who deprives Kurdish rights is the Kurdish government itself because it does not hand over the oil dues,” said Sadik al-Labban, member of the parliamentary legal committee. As was agreed upon with the central government.
He added that “the Kurds demand inaccurate when resorting to the federal government to pay dues to workers and employees in the region because the payment of these receivables stipulated the need to hand over the money derived from oil, and when this condition is denied then there is no possibility of delivery of these receivables, which is estimated at 17 percent.

Al-Labban demanded that “the Kurdish street pressure on the Kurdish government to hand over oil dues to the federal government because it falls within the general entitlement, today oil money is the property of all Iraqis without exception when the receipt of this money.” He noted that “there is a takeover of power and A certain party and there are other political parties within the region trying to collect money, but the language of force is the past in the direction. “

In turn, the political analyst, Jasim al-Moussawi, told the “Journal News” on Wednesday, that “the Kurds demand their benefits took a big argument and expresses a struggle on bread bread more than anything else and the victim in this subject is the Kurdish people.”
He added that the benefits of the Kurds collide with the bureaucracy and political obstinacy of the Kurdish administration, and the latter to realize that the central government exercises sovereignty over the wealth and border crossings and oil exports.

He pointed out that “it is expected that the Federal Court will not rule for the benefit of the Kurdish forces for two important reasons first: that the Federal Court takes into account the first two estimates: the substantive, which concerns the federal government is taken from the provinces considering that the wealth has been distributed or issued in accordance with the Iraqi need That Kurdistan is exported from the oil of Kirkuk and the oil of the northern region or through which much oil and this oil should be revenues to the federal government and the other dimension to be considered by the court is that the federal government under the current circumstances and the emergence of the economic crisis is unable to meet or give The Kurds will pay this amount, so the court will either refrain from taking the decision or it will take another judicial dimension or another decision that makes there a middle way between the benefits demanded by the Kurds and what can be provided by the federal government.

He pointed out that “every crisis, whether economic or otherwise caused by the political crisis, and there is likely to be rigid positions by Kurdish politicians toward escalation against Baghdad or cooperation with those who disagree with Baghdad and this will certainly affect the Iraqi political home and this important factor In arranging the papers in relation to the upcoming elections and in undermining confidence. “
Observers stressed the need to find compromises that recognize the importance of putting in the mouths of employees their benefits and they are not guilty of the Kurds and in return for the Kurds to know and abide by the sovereignty of the Iraqi state, as there must be central centrality to the wealth of the country.
The dispute over the oil fields and pipeline to the Mediterranean Sea, as well as water problems in the common rivers and lakes and the situation of national and religious minorities, Other. Therefore, the project of independence or separation seems more complex and can not be achieved through a popular referendum, observers say

In this regard, says the MP from the Kurdistan Democratic Party Majid Shankali, in a statement that “the referendum is a natural right for every people, and the meaning of granting the mandate and legitimacy of the people of Kurdistan to the political forces to proceed with certain actions according to what the people of the region that it is in their interest.
“But the referendum does not mean independence today or tomorrow and may require several months, a year or even two years and more until the completion of the independence procedures according to the legal and regulatory mechanisms.”
“The referendum will give a great power to the Kurdish negotiator when he goes to Baghdad to negotiate on the rights of the people of Kurdistan, and therefore we find no justification for the escalation by some parties at the present time and talk about partition or attempts to win votes by playing on the ballot.

On the other hand, the positions of the Kurdish parties differ on the date of the referendum on independence from Iraq, and despite the confirmation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Massoud Barzani, the organization of the referendum on the independence of the region during the current year, but internal differences between the Kurdish parties have prevented it, When Baghdad saw the signal of secession as merely “early election propaganda” and political pressure to bring economic benefits.
It is noteworthy that the US ambassador in Baghdad, Douglas Silliman, counted on April 3 last, that the subject of the referendum, which is scheduled to be carried out by the Kurdistan region and raising the flag of the province in Kirkuk, “distracted” attention from the organization is calling.



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