In an interview given to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani has warned Baghdad that a failure to resolve the budget issues will lead to the KRG selling oil independently.
“Either Iraq will commit to the agreement that they have and will pay the Kurdistan Region or, in another case, if they don’t and fail to pay Kurdistan, then we will be selling our own oil and collecting our own revenue,” he said, saying that the deadline for cooperation is just “one or two…months” away.
The fall in the price of oil, the huge refugee and IDP influx and the war against Islamic State (IS) have hit the KRG’s finances hard, and Barzani once again appealed for arms.
“Unfortunately in terms of the weapons, we have not really received the kind of equipment that we demand and is required to fight and defeat IS.
“I have raised this issue with the [US] administration and other government officials and we are hopeful that they will respond positively and there will be some changes in this regard,” he said.
The recent fall of Ramadi, which has been described as a capitulation by some US officials, is a result of policies implemented by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Barzani claimed.
“The problem is actually with the previous regime in Iraq that provided an environment for the sort of problems that we see in the Iraqi military.
“The way that they managed the Iraqi military…unfortunately changed the national army to a more sectarian army and those people that were supposed to fight for the country didn’t really have the cause and that was the main reason why the Iraqi military wasn’t able to succeed,” he said
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