Iraq warned Turkey on Sunday that an oil and natural-gas trade deal between Turkey and the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq could damage economic ties between the two countries, according to the Associated Press.
The Kurdistan Regional Government announced this month it had begun exporting oil and natural gas to Turkey in exchange for refined petroleum products, AP reported.
Baghdad criticized the deal, signed without its approval in May, and it accused Ankara of participating in the smuggling of Iraqi oil.
Exporting oil from the Kurdistan region to Turkey is illegal and illegitimate, Iraqi government representative Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement. The oil and gas are the property of all Iraqis and those exports and revenues must be managed by the federal government which represents all Iraqis.
Al-Dabbagh also said, This issue will affect the relations between the two countries, especially the economic ones.
Baghdad has said that the Kurdish regional government has no authority to sign international trade deals without its inclusion and that all oil-and-gas exports must pass through state-operated pipelines.
The Kurds agreed early last year to send oil exports through Baghdad, but the deal was scrapped in April with the Kurds accusing the Iraqi central government of withholding revenue.
Baghdad has threatened to cut federal funding to the Kurdish region, saying that it is keeping billions of dollars that should go to the state.