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The Iraqi Parliament held a first reading of the stalled 2014 federal budget despite a Kurdish boycott, but a second reading has not been scheduled, suggesting the legislature may struggle to pass the budget bill before April elections. Then, in a sudden about-face, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), offered to resume ‘official’ crude oil exports at 100,000 b/d as a goodwill gesture to Baghdad, a small step that may break the ice and lead to an end of the long-running dispute between the two.
KRG 100KBD EXPORT PLEDGE
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on 20 March that the semi-autonomous region was offering to make a contribution to Iraqi oil pipeline exports at a rate of 100,000 b/d from 1 April, in order to give negotiations with Baghdad a maximum chance of success. He said the exports would continue at the same rate so long as the discussions are proceeding “in a positive direction.” (CONTINUED - 1181 WORDS)