Mewan Dolamari
BasNews, Erbil

Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani has explained the financial crisis to the Kurdistan Parliament, going into detail on the oil selling process and the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad.
On Wednesday, Barzani went to the Kurdistan Parliament to speak about the issue over the payment of salaries in the Kurdistan Region.
“It has been for several years that Baghdad sends 10% of the Iraq’s budget in 36 steps, while they are supposed to send 17%. Baghdad has a IQD 6 trillion debt to pay the Kurdistan Region,’ said Barzani.
Regarding the decision to cut the salaries of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) employees, Barzani said: “In our last meeting with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, and later in our meeting with a delegation led by the Deputy Premier for Energy Affairs, HusseinShahristani, the Iraqi Minister of Finance said that the decision to cut the salaries of KRG employees was made by Iraqi PM and Commander of Iraqi forces Nouri al-Maliki.”
“We thought Iraq was in a financial crisis, but officials told us that Iraq is not suffering from financial issues, and it is only the KRG’s budget that has been cut. When they told us this, we had not yet sold any oil, but we were busy with the solution.” Added Kurdish Prime Minister
Barzani assured the people of Kurdistan that their salaries will be given and the issue will soon be resolved.
He also noted that the issue of oil between Baghdad and Erbil is about control: “They are saying that the process of selling oil should be given entirely to Baghdad, which is neither legal nor constitutional.
“They [Baghdad] are saying that they will incorporate the income derived from the sale of Kurdish oil into a budget for the KRG, but we will never accept that because there is no guarantee that this financial sanction will not be imposed on the Kurdistan Region. The decision to cut Kurdistan’s budget can be made by one single person.”
Barzani said that the KRG is ready to allow Iraq’s oil marketing company, SOMO Co., to supervise the process of selling Kurdish oil, but it will never grant control of the process to them. 17% of Iraq’s budget must be received properly.
Barzani also mentioned that the KRG has left the door open for negotiation and would like to reach an agreement with Baghdad.
“But if they close all the doors then we won’t be waiting,” said the Prime Minister. “Selling oil was our plan for dealing with budget cuts and we won’t step back in this process.”