Iraqi Kurdish PM in Ankara amid oil row and jihadist threat
DHA PhotoIraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani was in Ankara on Feb. 19 to meet with Turkish leaders, amid an ongoing oil exports dispute with Baghdad and the escalating security threat from jihadists in Iraq.
The training of Peshmerga forces, contributions to the peace process in Turkey and the financial crisis in Iraq were the topics of talks with Barzani, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Barzani first held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before meeting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın also attended Barzani’s meeting with Erdoğan.
The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) recently accused the central Baghdad government of failing to give the autonomous Kurdish region its share of revenues earned from the export of oil via Turkey, despite a deal signed in December.
Under the deal that should have taken effect from the start of the year, 250,000 barrels per day of oil are to be exported from the autonomous region, and another 300,000 bpd from the disputed province of Kirkuk.
Kurdish Pershmerga forces are currently battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has spread across large swathes of the country since last July.
The Peshmerga recently repulsed a major attack by ISIL southwest of the KRG capital Arbil.