News / Middle East

Iraq Warns Turkey Over Kurdistan Oil Ties

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Nechirvan Idris Barzani, head of Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan, meet in Ankara, Nov. 27, 2013.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Nechirvan Idris Barzani, head of Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan, meet in Ankara, Nov. 27, 2013.
Dorian Jones
Iraq is warning Turkey not to follow through on an oil deal with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is expected to start exporting oil to Turkey as early as next month.
 
Baghdad officials have voiced strong opposition to any energy deals between Ankara and the KRG, insisting that only they have authority to make energy deals, a claim disputed by both Ankara and the KRG.
 
According to Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar Carnegie Institute in Brussels, energy cooperation between Ankara and the KRG is deepening, and shipments could start soon.
 
"There has been, now and even very recently, a set of ambitious agreements between Ankara and the KRG regarding the leveraging of these oil and gas resources," he said.
 
Ankara and the KRG have, for several years, been negotiating a comprehensive energy deal, involving energy purchases, construction of pipelines, and resource exploration. Ankara sees the neighboring region's oil and gas wealth as a solution to its growing energy needs.
 
Turkey has little energy reserves of its own and has been seeking to diversify its dependence on Russia and Iran.
 
According to Semih Idiz, diplomatic columnist for the Turkish newspaper Taraf and the Al Monitor website, concern over Turkish cooperation with the KRG is not confined only to Baghdad.

"One of the accusations leveled at Turkey because of its ties with the Kurds, both by Baghdad and Washington, [is that] it's actually in a divisive mode as far of the territorial integrity of Iraq is concerned," he said. "So I think Baghdad will be looking for steps from Turkey that reinforce that territorial integrity and not weaken it and not put it in question."
 
In a bid to alleviate those tensions, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, who met Wednesday with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is expected to visit Baghdad.
 
Efforts to resolve tentions

Turkey's energy cooperation with the KRG has been a key factor behind years of tensions with Baghdad, but in the last few weeks there have been intense efforts to repair relations. Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu says those efforts have created a better environment to resolve differences.
 
"Among friends — neighbors among friends — there might be disagreements, but the important thing is to be able to have mature and meaningful dialogue, and I think that is what we have now the Iraqi government," he said. "Sometimes we agree to disagree, but we try to engage in a dialogue as much as possible."
 
Some energy experts say the KRG could eventually, with Turkish support, become a major world energy exporter. Such potential would not only play a crucial role in helping to meet Turkey’s energy needs but would also contribute to making it an important international energy hub, a strategic goal of Ankara.
 
Analyst Ulgen says with or without Baghdad’s consent, cooperation between Ankara and the KRG will continue to grow.
 
"Turkey's position is that Baghdad cannot continue to obstruct the deal between Turkey and the KRG. But it will be much easier and less problematic and much more predictable if Baghdad is also on board," he said. "But [Turkey] does not want to give the right of veto overall to Baghdad, because this is quite an important issue for Turkey to have this energy relationship in place."

KRG Prime Minister Barzani said this week the first oil shipments to Turkey could start by the end of the year.
 
Observers warn that gives little time to resolve the current impasse.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mohsin from: Amin
November 28, 2013 11:31 PM
Go to hell america and iraq, KURDISTAN BELONGS TO US KURDS AND WE WILL NEVER BOW FOR ANYONE... OUR NATURAL RESOURCES WE SELL THEM JUST THE WAY WE LIKE...

In Response

by: Kimberly Smythe from: USA
November 29, 2013 11:07 AM
hey idiot, "America" wants you to have sovereignty over your own resources. We support your hope for free Kurdistan. We want you to live free in your own home. The people who withhold your freedom and oppress you are the degenerate Iranians who subverted Iraq. do you understand??? Iran is in control of Iraq..!!
we are trying to protect you from the Hizbullah and the IRGC and other Shia terrorist organizations that will be happy to rape your daughters and slaughter you - but since you are an Arab Kurd - a Kardashian... you are stupid by definition... just like the imbecilic Iranians...


by: Nikos from: Greece
November 28, 2013 2:16 PM
please do not believe a word that the Turkys are saying. They are as deceitful as the ugly Iranians.

In Response

by: Mike Jones from: Windsor, Berkshire
November 29, 2013 7:01 AM
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts (or advice).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid