Iraq Asks Foreign Countries to Halt Oil Trading With Kurdistan Region
Iraqi government asked the foreign countries to halt oil trading with the Kurdistan Region, as the Kurds cast their votes in a planned referendum on independence on Monday (September 25).
Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, office released a statement on Sunday (September 24) asking the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to hand over international border posts and its international airports.
The government of Iraq also asked the foreign countries to deal with the central government in regards to airports and borders.
Meanwhile, Iraqi National Security Council in a statement called on the neighboring countries and foreign countries to only deal with the Iraqi government in regard to border crossings and oil.
The council also called on the public-prosecutor to investigate those who have taken steps to hold referendum which is against constitution and a decision of the Iraqi federal court.
Polling stations are set to open in parts of the Kurdistan Region as the autonomous region is heading into Monday's referendum to decide whether to stay part of Iraq or split and establish a newly-independent country.
The Kurdish authorities have long complained that Baghdad has failed to make budget payments to the region, while the central government has opposed oil deals made by the Kurds without its consent.
Abadi said during a press conference on Sunday that the government of Iraq will not accept the Kurdistan independence referendum.
He accused the Kurdish leaders of being corrupted and using the referendum as a way to hide behind internal issues like the non-payment of state employees’ salaries.
“Why not be transparent regarding the mass oil exports in Kurdistan in a clear account to the citizens? Most of Kurdistan’s internal problems are not with Baghdad and will worsen after the referendum,” Abadi said.