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Finance minister: Iraq's Kurdish region to hand over oil to Baghdad

Finance and Economy Minister of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, Awat Sheikh Janab on 10 July 2019 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

The Kurdistan Regional Government's Minister of Finance Awat Sheikh Janab yesterday announced that the government will abide by the fiscal deficit bill obliging Erbil to hand unspecified amounts of oil to the federal government in Baghdad in return for federal revenues, Anadolu news agency reported.

"Yesterday [Monday] our ministry received a letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance regarding the fiscal deficit bill and we replied that we are ready to abide by the bill," Sheikh Janab told reporters in Erbil, adding that "from now it is up to the federal government and Kurdish representatives in Baghdad to do their job."

On 12 November, the Iraqi parliament approved the fiscal deficit coverage bill, which allows the government to borrow 12 trillion dinars [about $10 billion] to cover the fiscal deficit resulting from the drop in oil prices as well as delayed salaries of civil servants.

The law stipulates that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) must hand over "unspecified amounts of oil" to the federal government in return for revenues which had been rejected by the Kurdish MPs.

For days, violent protests have erupted in the Kurdish cities and towns of Sulaymaniyah over the deteriorating economic situation and delayed salaries.

READ: Protester killed in Iraq's Kurdistan region after days of unrest

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