According to the Iraqi constitution, the oil and all the natural resources that exist in Iraq are national wealth that belongs to all Iraqi people, living in all of the regions and provinces of Iraq. This wealth should be used to increase the well-being and prosperity of all the people of Iraq. Therefore, such agreements should be a joint effort between everyone in Iraq and no individual group should single-handedly decide on how these resources are used.
In our view, these statements, especially those that threaten renowned international investment companies working in the Kurdistan Region, could lead to companies being reluctant to work in all of Iraq, and they will portray a negative image to investors across all sectors. This contradicts the general policies of economic openness, the promotion of trade and attracting foreign direct investment in order to provide better services to the people of Iraq, who have suffered for decades from closed centralized economic policies that have led to widespread poverty, destitution and deprivation.
In addition, such statements lead to increased disputes between the political parties and to the accumulation of new problems at a time when we need to think and work together in order to solve the problems that already exist--especially as we are building up a new democracy, which is what all the political and national components of Iraq want.
Yes, all those threats didn't play well to international corporations thinking about doing business in Iraq. In addition, Hevidear Ahmed (Rudaw) interviewed Matasam Akram on this topic:
Rudaw: Signing some contracts between the Kurdistan Region and ExxonMobil, an oil giant, has angered Baghdad and the capital has asked the company to cancel its deals. Where does this issue stand at the moment?
Mutasam Akram: Inside Iraq's Ministry of Oil, no actual step has been taken against ExxonMobil and what we see is only in the media. ExxonMobil is the biggest oil company in the world and, if they wanted to work in some part of the world, they would think it over a hundred times before making a decision. When they sign a contract, they know well what the results will be. If ExxonMobil had known it would lose by signing a contract with the Kurdistan Region, it would not have done it. The same goes for the French Total that is also one of the biggest oil companies now in Kurdistan. Both companies enjoy heavy economic and political weight in the world and they wouldn't have come to Kurdistan had they known they would lose
Iraq, after a stormy 2010 parliamentary election, smashed the world record for the longest period between elections and the forming of a new government. Not exactly an accomplishment for a country that had democracy handed to them by the so-called standard bearer of participatory government. Baghdad politics have since been held together by the tiniest of threads, with various political factions storming out of the halls of government at various times for various reasons. Though the fight hasn't yet taken to the streets, the country's Shiite prime minister ordered his Sunni vice president arrested on terrorism charges.
Al Rafidayn notes the Supreme Judicial Council has decreed that they will begin their trial of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi in absentia on May 3rd. Nouri al-Maliki has accused al-Hashemi of terrorism and issued an arrest warrant for him. al-Hashemi is in the KRG and has maintained since December that he cannot receive a fair trial in Baghdad -- an assertion that was demonstrated to be true when a 9 member panel of judges held a press conference last Thursday and declared al-Hashemi guilty of terrorism before a trial had taken place and in violation of Article 19 of the Iraqi Constitution.
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