Talabani: Iraqi oil company should sell Kurdistan Region's oil

Talabani: Iraqi oil company should sell Kurdistan Region's oil
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PUK leader Bafel Talabani has said KRI should be represented in SOMO and be part of management and decision-making processes in Iraq's oil production and sales.

The leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said on Sunday that Iraq's State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) should sell the Kurdistan Region's oil and the income of all oil sales in Iraq should go to the Iraqi Treasury.

In a written statement published by PUKMedia, Bafel Talabani commented on the situation following a recent arbitration ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in favor of Iraq for the right to control the loading of oil - imported by Turkey from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) - at Turkey's Ceyhan port.

"SOMO should sell the Kurdistan Region's oil, and the total oil sales throughout Iraq should go to one treasury (...) The Kurdistan Region's share in the Iraqi budget and revenue should be determined and the salaries of employees and pensioners of the Region should be guaranteed," Talabani said, adding:

"The Kurdistan Region should be represented in SOMO and in the entire Iraqi oil and gas system, and be part of the management and decision-making. For years, the PUK has sought to resolve the dispute by coming to an agreement with Baghdad. Coordination and collaboration are key components of right thinking, not avoiding issues and letting them pile up."

Referring to the longtime fierce rivalry between PUK and the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), he continued:

"Internal conflicts and individualistic approaches weaken our entity and put our Region at risk, not cooperating and fighting for our rights in Baghdad."

He concluded:

"Reaching a deal with Baghdad and securing our rights is the sensible and responsible course of action."