Iraqi Oil Ministry Warns Foreign Companies Against Contracts With Kurdistan
REUTERS/ Thaier Al-SudaniMiddle East17:30 19.10.2017(updated 17:36 19.10.2017) Get short URL
According to the Iraqi government, the authorities seek to provide a safe environment for the activity of international companies and are protecting their investments throughout the country following the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Baghdad warned international companies that signing contracts without coordinating them with the authorities constituted “gross interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, the violation of its national sovereignty and a clear violation of international norms,” according to a ministry statement obtained by Sputnik.
According to the statement, the ministry and the government have the right to apply to local or international courts for the protection of national interests. The ministry stressed that contracts concluded with the region’s separatist administration rather than with federal authorities are illegal and the state is not obliged to comply with them.
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Relations between Erbil and Baghdad have worsened since the Kurdish independence referendum. Earlier, Iraqi authorities suspended all international flights to and from Erbil. In his turn, the Director of Erbil International Airport stated that the ban will be lifted soon.
In September, Iraqi Kurdistan held a referendum on independence from Iraq. According to the supreme independent commission for the referendum of Kurdistan, 92.7% of electors voted for independence. The authorities of Iraq declared the referendum illegitimate.