Kurds say Iraqi oil sales legal

Semiautonomous gov't discusses 1 million barrel sale with U.N. envoy.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 2, 2014 at 9:55 AM
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ERBIL, Iraq, June 2 (UPI) -- The government of the semiautonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq said its oil policies are in line with the Iraqi constitution despite Baghdad's complaints.

The Kurdistan Regional Government announced a tanker loaded with more than 1 million barrels of crude oil departed a Turkish sea port May 22 bound for the European market. It was the first such sale of oil taken from the northern Kurdish region.

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzan met Saturday with U.N. special envoy to Iraq Nikolay Mladenov to stress his commitments to all obligations related to Iraq. This includes Iraq's commitments regarding oil, he said.

"The prime minister emphasized that the KRG oil policy is fully in line with the federal constitution of Iraq," the KRG said in a statement.

There was no statement from Mladenov or the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq on the May oil sale.

The central government in Baghdad filed a case at an international court of arbitration in Paris to challenge the export. The central government says any unilateral deals in the energy sector from KRG are illegal.

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