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Baghdad Never Granted Erbil with Its Due Financial Rights: PM Barzani

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The Iraqi federal government has never granted the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with its due financial rights, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has stated.

Barzani made the remarks during an interview on August 26 with a number of Arab TV channels, Al-Iraqia, Zagros, Al-Sharqiya, Al-Hadath, Al Jazeera, and Alhurra, in which he pointed out that Erbil never received %17 share from the federal budget.

The Kurdish premier argued that the majority of remaining disputes between Erbil and Baghdad are because the Constitution has not been implemented so far.

"Out relations with the federal government of Iraq has been based on consensus, balance, and partnership. We agreed on these principles, but what we did not see was consensus, balance and partnership," PM Barzani added.

He further reminded that the Peshmerga forces were able to protect the oilfields in Kirkuk and other disputed areas when the Islamic State (IS) attacked Iraq and the Iraqi army withdrew from various areas.

"The Peshmerga forces defeated Daesh and gave a chance to the Iraqi army to reorganize itself."

Concerning the disputes between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, Barzani explained that the Kurdish people have no issues with the Arab nation, but with those politicians who violate the legitimate rights of Kurds.

"Otherwise, the gates of Kurdistan are open for all our brothers and sisters in Iraq,” he added.

In regards to the violations of Iraq’s sovereignty and external interventions, the Kurdish premier noted that Erbil considers the presence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters in Iraq as a reason for the recent Turkish bombardments and operations in Iraq.

"We hope that the PKK would respect the constitutional rights of Kurdistan Region," Barzani said.

PM Barzani also shed light on the importance of the participation of the Kurdish delegation in the recent strategic dialogue between Iraq and the US, highlighting Washington's role in mediating between Erbil and Baghdad.

To address the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, he added, the jurisdiction of both sides should be defined. However, Barzani said that they welcome the efforts and role by all friendly and allied countries to help the Kurdistan Region and Iraq reach an agreement.
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