Kurds in Baghdad rebuff Exxon critics

The top Kurdish official in the Iraqi Cabinet speaks out against his fellow ministers' hard-line stance against Exxon.
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Rosh Nouri Shaways (R) walks with German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler (C) to attend a meeting in Baghdad November 2, 2011. (MOHAMMED AMEEN/Reuters)

BAGHDAD - A top member of the government has added a pro-Kurdish voice to the polarized public debate over regional oil rights, criticizing other top members of the Maliki administration for their hard-line stance against Kurdistan's controversial deals with ExxonMobil.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Rosh Shaways, the most senior Kurdish official in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet, called for an open-ended process to resolve the controversy over the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) oil contracts – and specifically its October deal with ExxonMobil – which were signed despite Baghdad's objections.

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