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Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Iraqi Kurds approve regional oil law

August 8, 2007

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— Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish government approved a regional oil law Tuesday, paving the way for foreign investment in its northern oil and gas fields even as similar U.S.-backed legislation for the entire country remained stalled.

The measure gives the regional government the right to administer its oil wealth in the three northern governates - Irbil, Sulaimaniyah and Dahuk - as well as what it called "disputed territories," referring to Kirkuk, one of Iraq's largest crude oil hubs.

Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani signed the law Tuesday, calling it a "historic moment."

The Kurdish law is separate from the proposed national oil law, which aims to divide Iraq's oil wealth among Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and other Iraqi groups. It has been bogged down due to wide differences between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds on local control of oil fields.

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