World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq made a $430 million budget payment to the Kurdish region for May, the finance minister said on Tuesday, potentially putting further strain on a deal over oil exports.
The December deal was hailed as a breakthrough in a long-running dispute over exports between the federal government in Baghdad and Kurdish regional authorities, but both sides accuse each other of violating it.
Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said Baghdad had paid 508 billion dinars ($430 million) to the region in May as expenditure had been lowered across the board, and sought to play down any impact on the oil deal.
"All the amounts for all ministries and state departments have been lowered," Zebari said. "There are no negative effects on the deal: it is standing and still ongoing."
Under the deal, the Kurds committed to export 550,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil in return for the reinstatement of budget payments to the region, which Baghdad slashed in early 2014.
Kurdish minister of natural resources Ashti Hawrami said in a conference in London on Tuesday that the region had met its target and remained committed to the deal despite receiving only 35 percent of the funds it should have to date.
The Kurds say they have not received the monthly 1.2 trillion dinars to which they are entitled in the 2015 budget and have threatened to sell more oil independently to make up for the shortfall.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in an interview on May 30 that even if the Kurds exported their full share of oil, they could not expect to receive the 1.2 trillion Iraqi dinars to which they say the budget entitles them because it was drawn up when the price of oil was higher.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Haziran 2015, 17:31