MESOP : WHO PAY’S FOR WHOM ? – Iraq’s Abadi says Kurdistan government should pay its own employees

BAGHDAD,— NRTTV – 22 Feb 2015 – Speaking to Iraqi television broadcasters in Baghdad on Saturday night, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should bear the responsibility of paying its civil employees not hired through the central government.“I am not against sending the civil servants’ salary, but there is a matter everyone should know, the case is, there are some employees of the KRG who have not been hired by the Iraqi Government but rather, are employed by Kurdistan Region,” Abadi stated. Iraqi and Kurdish leaders have been locked in a dispute over the KRG’s budget and payment of civil servants’ salaries which have repeatedly been delayed since the beginning of 2014.

KRG employees, including Peshmerga on the frontlines fighting against Islamic State militants, report having gone months at a time without receiving salaries. Abadi’s speech comes after talks with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in Baghdad on February 16 where he said Iraq’s central government does not have enough money to send the KRG its 17 percent share of the national budget. Following the meeting, KRG President Masoud Barzani stated during a press conference that the KRG is abiding by the terms of the oil deal struck by officials in December and will cease exports to Baghdad if the budget is not received. Under the terms of the oil revenue sharing accord, the KRG is to send 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the Iraqi government to be exported by the State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) in return for 17 percent of the total national budget.The KRG is then allowed to export 300,000 bpd to Turkey via pipeline from the Kirkuk oilfields.