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Kurdish oil claims deceptive, Baghdad says

Iraqi Oil Ministry says Kurdish oil sales are illegal.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM

BAGHDAD, June 30 (UPI) -- Statements on oil exports from the semiautonomous Kurdish government were misleading, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said.

Last week, the Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources said a federal court ruled against the government in a case filed from Baghdad against Kurdish oil exports from Turkey.

A statement Saturday from the Kurdistan Regional Government said a written request was sent to Baghdad calling on the federal government to stop interfering in its oil exports.

A separate statement from the Iraqi Oil Ministry said their Kurdish counterparts were making "incorrect and misleading" claims about the case.

"The provincial government is still exporting oil illegally from Iraq, which is a breach on the constitution," the ministry said Saturday.

Both sides are at odds over who controls what aspects of the oil sector. The Kurdish government has confirmed at least one sale of oil, made last week to Israel. The U.S. government has sided with Baghdad on the issue, saying Iraqi oil can be sold only with Baghdad's explicit consent.

Potential buyers have avoided Kurdish oil because of the export row, Baghdad says. Statements from Erbil, the Kurdish capital, made about the rights of the semiautonomous government are part of a public deception campaign, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said.

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