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U.S. stands by Baghdad in oil contract policy

Feb. 6, 2014 at 6:43 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department said it believes any revenue generated in Iraq through oil sales should go through the central government.

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq said a meeting was held Wednesday in Baghdad between Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani and top U.S. envoys on energy policy.

The embassy in a statement said both sides reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate fully in areas of oil production and contracts.

"As you know, our position has long been that we believe that all of these [oil] contracts and any revenue should go through the central government," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during her Wednesday press conference.

The central government in Baghdad threatened legal action against the semiautonomous Kurdish government in the north for working independently with foreign oil companies. Kurdish oil is planned for an export terminal in Turkey, something Baghdad says is illegal.

Apart from export policies, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said both sides would work to ensure Iraq's energy infrastructure was protected from terrorist attacks.

Some of the pipeline infrastructure in northern Iraq has been targeted by insurgents in recent years.

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