Kurdistan Regional Government threatens to sue Baghdad
In a letter to Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said it will sue Baghdad by the middle of this month if it continues to hamper the Kurdish region’s oil exports.
The “KRG will bring civil, and where necessary, criminal proceedings against your ministry and any person, foreign advisor, or any entity conspiring with your ministry in any form,” KRG Natural Resource Minister Ashti Hawrami wrote in the letter.
The KRG has angered Baghdad by selling its own oil products directly on international markers.
Baghdad has cut the KRG’s budget since January, arguing the sales are illegal.
Tensions have ratcheted up between Kurdistan’s regional leaders and the central government in Baghdad. The Iraqi government has repeatedly slammed the Kurdistan region for exporting oil without Baghdad’s consent. Baghdad says it has the sole right to export the country’s crude, but the Kurds say they are entitled to market the resources of their own region.
However, under the Iraqi constitution, any oil contract must be approved by Baghdad and its revenues sent to the treasury.
Iraq is currently witnessing a wave of violence unprecedented in recent years.
Violence in Iraq escalated after militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of Mosul on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad.
The ISIL has vowed to continue its raid toward Baghdad. However, its advance has been slowed down as Iraqi military forces and volunteer fighters have begun engaging the militants on several fronts, in some cases even pushing the militants out of the areas they had earlier overrun.
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