Before his departure for Washington, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced, “We will undertake joint exploration with ExxonMobil in northern Iraq.” This is how he stated Turkey’s readiness to make a presence in northern Iraq, not despite the US, but with it.
Istanbul- A Turkish state-run oil firm struck a deal with Exxon Mobil Corp. and Iraq's semiautonomous Kurds to develop projects in northern Iraq, Turkey's leader said Tuesday, an agreement fraught with political risks for the energy-rich region.
The economy of the Kurdistan region of Iraq fluctuates according to the state of relations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The news on May 2 that the Iraqi cabinet will hold a session in Erbil opens the door to a number of possibilities, including the return of friendliness to the tense relationship between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Such a meeting also indicates that Baghdad continues to probe the intentions of the Iraqi Kurds, especially given that its request that the cabinet meet in Erbil was vehemently opposed by some Kurdish members of the parliament in Baghdad.
Baghdad/Erbil (Reuters) - A lasting solution to Iraq's dispute with its Kurdish north is unlikely even if recent talks between the two sides lead to a resumption of oil exports from the autonomous region.
As the clock ticks down toward the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan, which enjoys near total independence from the central Iraqi government, the names of candidates for the post of provincial president have yet to be announced. Conjecture abounds, though, that competition will be fierce, especially now that the name of Nawshirwan Mustafa, the leader of the opposition Movement for Change, has been proposed to compete against the incumbent, Massoud Barzani.
No sooner had the leaders of the opposition Change Movement (Gorran) in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region learned that the two ruling parties of the autonomous enclave would run under separate banners in the upcoming elections, than they began worrying about losing some of their votes to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
As soon as the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, announced last week that he was calling on the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in Iraq to schedule a date for presidential and parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region not later than Sept. 8, the region has witnessed a spike in media disputes that have resembled the early stages of electoral campaigns.
Since its creation in 2009, the Change Movement (Gorran), the largest opposition party in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, has railed against corruption and an entrenched patronage system that it blames on ruling partners the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Gorran, which was mainly formed by disenchanted members who broke away from the PUK, has recently been warming to the KDP, at a time when the other ruling partner is facing an enormous challenge: The PUK’s leader Jalal Talabani, who is also Iraq’s president, has been absent from the scene since suffering an acute stroke in December. On the other hand, party insiders say there are behind-the-scenes moves to integrate Gorran back into the PUK.
The visit of a delegation from the National Iraqi Alliance, which represents prominent Shiite parties, to Erbil has restored hope in a Shiite-Kurdish alliance and placated the heightened tensions between both parties. Moreover, it opened the door for finding a solution to the current political deadlock.