Baghdad-KRG oil agreement closer but not reached

Kurdistan oil minister discounts Shahristani statement as old news, temporary agreement; says agreement to pay the contractors means nothing until finance ministry and cabinet approve plan.
Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani speaks to the media May 6, 2010. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani officially acknowledged Thursday that a deal had been reached with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to pay the latter's contractors and restart oil exports, but the top KRG oil official said sensational headlines from Baghdad were premature.

"He's not in charge of the money," KRG Minster of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami said in a phone call from London.

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