Turkey and Iraq to discuss Kurd oil deals

Iraq-oil1Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari will be on a working visit to neighboring Turkey as both countries continue to reinforce their bilateral relations. Ahead of his arrival on Friday, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said that they are implementing projects worth billions of dollars in Iraq and willing to continue abiding by its rules. During the visit, the issue of the Kurds is expected to highly dominate their discussions.
Minister Zebari will be meeting with his Turkish homologue, Ahmet Davutoğlu, and other several officials.
Baghdad has not been pleased with the Turkish government’s decision to conclude oil agreements with the Kurdish Regional Government of northern Iraq. The central government was not aware of the deal. Turkey has in recent years invested almost $5,5billion in the southern parts of Baghdad.
The Kurdish Regional Government governs a semi-autonomous region which has been fighting for its independence. Since the withdrawal of the American troops in Iraq, the Kurds have been working towards reducing their financial dependence on the central government. They have signed deals with several foreign firms and sought for a pipeline through Turkey to gain access to the international markets.
Iraq has vowed to take legal action against the deals in a bid to halt crude oil sales to Turkey.
However Minister Yildiz said “it is Iraq’s domestic problem to question which pipeline is tied where within Iraqi borders.” He gave assurances that they will show “respect” to the Iraq’s oil revenue distribution and take it “into consideration in the projects we make.” Iraq is yet to penalize Turkey for its dealings with the semi-autonomous northern region.
Yildiz claimed that the mutual projects with Iraq are in interest of the counties and the region and for the sake of all Iraqi people.

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