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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid