Iraqi Oil Minister Urges Kurds to Decide on Independence

Condemns Regional Govt for Making Oil Deals Without Ministry Permission

The long-standing dispute between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi central government has erupted again today with an interview by Iraqi Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luyabi urging the KRG to decide whether they were part of Iraq or planned to be an independent state.

Its up to the Kurdistan region to decide whether it has made a strategic decision to stay part of Iraq or it has made up its mind to establish an independent state” insisted Luyabi, “if the later is their choice, I do acknowledge they have every right to that.”

Luyabi declared that he had “two principles” that could never be compromised on, that development in the oil sector needed to be planned centrally and that all marketing of oil needed to be done by the central government.

The KRG has disputed this claim, and has repeatedly made deals with Western oil companies to develop oil fields within their semi-autonomous area without submitting the proposals through Luyabi’s ministry.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.