Former Iraqi Deputy PM: Kurdistan Region Owes $105 Billion to Baghdad, Banks

Former Iraqi Deputy PM: Kurdistan Region Owes $105 Billion to Baghdad, Banks

 The former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs, Hussein al-Shahristani said on Sunday (November 27) that the Kurdistan Region owes the Iraqi central government a total of $51 billion.

Another $54 billion of debt is owed by Erbil to its internal and external banks as well as other lenders, Shahristani said during an interview with al-Sumaria news.

"The [total] debts of the region to the federal government and the internal and external banks and other lenders amounted to $105 billion dollars, of which $51 billion dollars is to the federal government and the rest as internal and external debt," said Shahristani.

Additional financial losses to the Iraqi budget between March 2008 to August 2017 amounts to more than $39 billion and is due to non-delivery of oil from Kurdish oil field to the federal government, he added.

As a result of oil production at Kirkuk oil fields by the Kurdistan Region, the central government suffered $9 billion financial loss, according to Shahristani.

The stoppage of oil flow due to damages occurred to the oil pipelines caused $2 billion financial loss to the country, he continued.

The Kurdistan Region is facing a financial crisis since early 2014 when then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stopped budget payments to Erbil over its attempts to sell its oil independently from Baghdad.

The subsequent war against ISIS in northern Iraq and influx of over 1.8 million displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees added to the region’s economic troubles.