4 February 2010

London, UK (KRG.org) – The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Natural Resources Minister on Tuesday in London said that he hopes for a new atmosphere of cooperation with the federal government after the forthcoming Iraqi national elections. Dr Ashti Hawrami made the comments during his address to an energy conference at Chatham House, the UK’s leading foreign affairs think tank. 

Referring to a recent statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, Dr Hawrami said, “We have always been ready to contribute to Iraq’s oil revenues for the benefit of all Iraqis. Prime Minister Maliki said recently that he wants to look at the KRG exploration contracts with flexibility and realism. We welcome this statement and hope to see it followed up by action.” 

The minister said that the KRG is acting responsibly and is exercising its rightful authority according to the Iraqi Constitution. He reminded the audience of the Kurds’ tragic experience of living in an oil-rich nation: the late legendary Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani in 1974 said that oil was a curse and had blighted the future of the Kurds and as far back as the 1930s, Kurdish leaders were calling for oil revenues to be shared fairly. 

The Iraqi Constitution, which was approved by a large majority in a referendum in 2005, was designed to ensure that no central government can ever again abuse its power and wealth against its population in any part of the country. 

Dr Hawrami outlined the KRG’s rapid progress in the oil and gas sector. He said, “In just two years, the KRG has achieved a great deal: 38 companies from 17 countries have exploration and production contracts in the Kurdistan Region, with a high government take for the benefit of all of Iraq. Several medium and large discoveries have been made, one private sector refinery that is the most modern in Iraq has been built and another is nearing completion. We’re now generating 1,250 megawatts of electricity, or 20 hours per day supply to the people. This is a vast improvement.”


As per KRG's agreement with the Iraqi government and under the 2015 Budget Law


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