The United Nations called for the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad to resolve their ongoing oil and budget share issues on Wednesday.
Jan Kubis, special representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), told the Security Council "it was imperative that differences over the December 2014 oil and revenue-sharing agreement be quickly resolved."
Baghdad and Erbil reached an agreement on Dec. 2, 2014 to export the KRG's oil in exchange for a share of the budget from the central government. However, the deal did not work out as both sides claimed the other side failed to honor the agreement.
Kubis stated that the issue is "critical to Iraq’s stability and unity," and urged the sides to quickly find a solution.
The official also spoke about Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's current reforms in the country.
"In the wake of the steep drop in global oil prices, Iraq’s fiscal crisis and growing budget deficit highlighted the need for urgent economic reform," Kubis said.
He stressed the Iraqi government, its foreign partners, international and regional financial institutions should take measures to tackle economic and budgetary challenges.
The Iraqi economy is highly dependent on revenues generated from oil sales and exports. Low oil prices, coupled with fighting against Daesh militants, have created a great burden on the country.
"The government led by al-Abadi continued efforts to fulfill its reform agenda even as the scope and complexity of Iraq’s security, political, social, budgetary and humanitarian challenges increased," Kubis said.
Noting that al-Abadi's efforts have been hampered to achieve national reconciliation, Kubis said "Yet, the majority of Iraqis believe that al-Abadi remains their best hope for a better, united, less sectarian and prosperous Iraq, and they support him."
By Ovunc Kutlu