7 Days Remaining

Thursday 26th
posted by James Tweedie in World

IRAQ will export oil to Turkey while bypassing the separatist Kurdistan region, the two country’s leaders said yesterday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in Ankara after a meeting that also included Mr Erdogan’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Following the meeting, the Turkish president said talks were under way on closing his country’s border with the autonomous Kurdish region in response to last month’s unilateral independence referendum.

Ankara would provide “every kind of support” to help Iraq reopen a damaged pipeline that runs near the city of Mosul, he pledged.

Mr Abadi said: “With the referendum they tried to break up our territory, they tried to redefine our borders.”

The Kurdistan regional government (KRG) extended its referendum and secession claim to parts of four Iraqi provinces — including oil-rich Kirkuk — that it had seized in 2014 during the Isis conquest of northern Iraq.

But with Isis now on the run, the federal government launched a military campaign to regain those territories earlier this month that is still continuing.

Earlier yesterday, a KRG statement offered to suspend the independence bid as part of a dialogue with Baghdad offered by Mr Abadi — and called for a ceasefire in areas where the security forces are still pushing out Kurdish Peshmerga militia forces.

“Continued fighting does not lead any side to victory, but it will drive the country towards disarray and chaos,” it read.
KRG President Masoud Barzani’s aide Hemin Hawrami accused the government’s Popular Mobilisation Units militia, which are holding Rabia on the Syrian border, of attacking Peshmerga in Mahmudia in an apparent bid to reach the nearby frontier with Turkey.

The army’s media department said the claims “do not correspond with reality.”