Energy touches ‘all of Iraq’: Minister

Energy touches ‘all of Iraq’: Minister

Nerdun Hacıoğlu MOSCOW - Hürriyet
Energy touches ‘all of Iraq’: Minister

The Turkish Energy Minister (R) meets KRG President Barzani. AA photo

Turkey supports a rise in oil and natural gas production in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but the decision should be taken by “all Iraqi people,” Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said during his meeting with KRG President Masoud Barzani in Russia. “We, as Turkey, are absolutely supporting the increase in natural gas and oil production in northern Iraq. However, production increases in this region should not only be within the framework of northern Iraq’s administration decisions.

The Iraqi administration and all Iraqi people should decide together,” Yıldız said in his talks with Barzani and Ashti Hawrami, the KRG’s minister of natural resources, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 20.

He stressed that Turkey would be ready to contribute as soon as the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous administration in Arbil find a common formula.

“We underlined that public or private companies’ agreements, under the condition of being subject to private law, are important not only for the KRG, but also for the whole of Iraq,” Yıldız said after the meeting.

Baghdad recently announced that it aims to ramp up oil production by nearly 45 percent by the end of 2014, without any input from the KRG.

The dispute between Baghdad and Arbil is part of wider disagreements over who controls the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves.