US hopes for positive response from Baghdad to Ankara-Arbil oil deal
Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey. CİHAN photoThe United States has said it would like to see a positive stance from the Iraqi government on the energy deal between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, underlining that maintaining close relations between Ankara-Arbil-Baghdad was very important for their mutual benefit.
“We would love to see the Iraqis have additional means of getting oil and gas out to world markets. We think it’s a god thing,” Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey told reporters late Dec. 2 on the sidelines of the Polish National Day reception. “We want to see the Iraqi government be happy about the deal with the Kurdish Regional Government and with Turkey,” he added, implying that the Iraqi central government’s consent for the Ankara-Arbil energy deal was also a priority for Washington.
Recalling that Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız paid a snap visit to Bagdad on 1 Dec. and held meetings with Iraqi authorities, Ricciardone said he hoped Yıldız had made some progress on this issue.
Turkish media reported that Turkey’s proposal of establishing a tripartite mechanism between Ankara-Arbil-Baghdad was received positively by the Iraqi government. When asked about this new mechanism, the U.S. envoy said: “We always say it is important for Ankara and Baghdad and Arbil to stay in close touch with each other for their mutual benefits of the export of Iraqi oil and gas supply.” The ambassador said the U.S. was also in close contact with all three parties on a daily basis.