News / Middle East

Iraq's Maliki Visits Kurdistan to Ease Tensions

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (R) speaks next to his Iraqi Kurdish counterpart Nechirvan Barzani during a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Arbil, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad, June 9, 2013.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (R) speaks next to his Iraqi Kurdish counterpart Nechirvan Barzani during a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Arbil, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad, June 9, 2013.
VOA News
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has made a rare visit to his country's autonomous Kurdish region to try to ease long-running disputes that have threatened national unity.

Maliki flew to Iraqi Kurdistan's regional capital of Irbil Sunday in his first trip to the autonomous area since 2010. He was greeted warmly at the airport by regional president Masoud Barzani.

The Iraqi prime minister and his Cabinet later held a meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan's prime minister Nechirvan Barzani.

Relations between Maliki's Baghdad-based central government and Iraqi Kurdistan have been tense for years, with both sides disagreeing about who should control Iraqi oil resources and territories along their internal boundary. No breakthroughs on those issues were expected in Maliki's talks with Iraqi Kurdish officials.

Iraqi Kurdistan has signed oil exploration contracts with foreign energy companies Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total in recent years, angering Baghdad, which believes only it should authorize such agreements.

The Kurdish region has been building a pipeline that would allow it to export oil extracted from its territory to neighboring Turkey, bypassing pipelines controlled by Baghdad. The independent pipeline could help Iraqi Kurdistan to reduce its reliance on central government funds for a significant portion of its budget.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders also have long demanded the expansion of their authority to include oil-rich areas of northern Iraq adjacent to the three autonomous Kurdish provinces. Baghdad has resisted those demands.

Maliki has been under pressure to resolve sectarian tensions in Iraq, where majority Shi'ites and minority Sunnis have been increasingly attacked by militants of the opposing sect in recent months.

In the latest violence, a suicide car bomb struck a security checkpoint in Baghdad's mostly Shi'ite neighborhood of Kadhimiyah early Sunday, killing at least seven people, most of them security personnel. There was no initial claim of responsibility.

Iraqi Sunnis have held months of protests demanding the resignation of Mr. Maliki, a Shi'ite whom they accuse of monopolizing power in the hands of fellow Shi'ites and unfairly targeting Sunni leaders for arrest.

The Iraqi prime minister has been trying to lead a power-sharing government with Sunnis and Kurds for the past three years.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid