Baghdad has no right to dismiss oil deals signed with Kurdistan Region, says Genel Energy chairman28/07/2012 12:47
ERBIL, July 28 (AKnews) – The chairman of Genel Energy Mehmet Sepil said international oil companies are signing deals with the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad has no right to dismiss these deals.
The company owns six production contracts in northern Iraq, reported SES Türkiye.
Oil deals between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey are creating tension with Baghdad. Turkish businessmen however are siding with the Kurdish region on this matter.
Sepil said: "Our company lawyers looked into the issue and saw no flaws. These deals are completely legal."
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh accused Turkey of illegally importing oil from northern Iraq, saying: "Oil and gas are the property of all Iraqis and those exports and revenues must be managed by the federal government which represents all Iraqis."
He also said that Turkey's actions may harm trade relations between the two countries
The agreement signed between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region earlier this month allows for the barter of oil and gas in exchange for refined petroleum products to meet the domestic demand of the region.
Chairman of the Turkish-Iraqi Business Council Ercument Aksoy at the Foreign Economic Relations Board said: "The rising tension between Baghdad and Ankara is a result of a conflict of interests within Iraq. It can only be resolved with a settlement between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad."
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insists that the Kurdistan Region has no right to sign unilateral deals and exports must go through the state-run pipelines. The Kurdish administration led by Massoud Barzani, on the other hand, claims that the Iraqi constitution gives them the right to sign agreements without Baghdad’s approval.
Head of the Global Political Trends Centre Mensur Akgun said the Maliki administration is trying to increase its influence over the Kurdistan Region.
Akgun added: "Turkey on the other hand is trying to enhance its ties with the Kurdistan Region to gain support for its struggle against militant groups of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party."
Akgun commented that Baghdad has a lot more to do to establish its internal authority, adding: "Maliki's government is representing a small fraction of Iraq."
By Hemn Hadi