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 Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

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Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief  7.7.2012   

July 7, 2012 -  Sulaimaniyah, Erbil-Hewler, Duhok, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Kurdistan starts trucking exports of oil to Turkey

Erbil: The Kurdistan Regional Government has started trucking exports of crude oil to Turkey despite a long-running dispute between Baghdad and Erbil. The export of oil will be via tankers for now until the government builds an export pipeline. Two sources said that trucks had begun transporting crude oil from Kurdistan over the border to Turkey on Thursday, reported the Telegraph. Erbil and Ankara agreed to build an export pipeline, which could be operational next year to transport oil to Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Receb Taib Erdogan said in Brazil: "Iraq’s government halted exporting oil derivatives and fuel to the Kurdistan Region. Thus they asked for fuel and we agreed. Instead they will provide us with crude oil." Oil analyst at VSA Capital Malcolm Graham-Wood said this move indicates a "serious commitment" between Kurdistan and Turkey. "We didn't expect this to happen so soon," he said. He added: "The opening of the border massively increases the scope for Kurdistan to sell crude.”

Gorran invited to open office in Tehran

Erbil: During his visit to Tehran, General Coordinator of Gorran (Change) Movement Nawshirwan Mustafa was invited to open a representative office of his party in Tehran. Kurdistan news website cited a close source to the major opposition party of Kurdistan as saying the Iranian officials proposed that Gorran also open its office like other Kurdistan Region parties in order to buttress ties with Tehran. Mustafa responded by saying he needs to consult the diplomatic relations officials of his party about this proposal, according to source. Gorran general coordinator left for Iran on June 29 following an official invitation. He returned home two days ago.

Shahrestani's office: Kurdistan not allowed signing oil deals without Baghdad

Baghdad: The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should not sign any oil and gas deals with the foreign countries independently from Baghdad, said an officials. The statement by head of the office of Hussein al-Shahrestani, deputy PM for energy affairs, followed KRG's announcement of a plan to export gas to Turkey after two years, directly and independently of Baghdad. "The KRG or the provinces do not have the right to make contracts with foreign countries with regard to exporting oil, gas or oil derivations…this is the exclusive task of the [Iraqi] Ministry of Oil," Faysal Abddulla said. Abdulla noted Ankara has also signed a protocol with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil which requires Turkey to deal directly with the Ministry for contracts related to oil and gas. "Contrary to this is not right and is rejected by the Iraqi government," Abdullah said.

Exxon Mobil is seeking to divide Iraq, says MP

Erbil: An MP from the Mustaqilloun (Independents) bloc within the State of Law Coalition (SLC) led by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that US oil giant Exxon Mobil is playing a political role in its oil deals more than a professional one, describing its work as a plan to divide Iraq. A statement quoted Samira al-Moussawi as saying: "Exxon Mobil is supporting certain political parties at the expense of the government. This will create a new political crisis. "The company's lineup with some of the political parties is a kind of act of vandalism, because if it contracts with Nineveh province then it creates tension in Basra and vice versa. This may create a perception that the Kurds have an aggressive stance against Arabs and we do not want to inflame this situation." Moussawi called on the US administration to stop the "illegal" work of Exxon Mobil "because people now feel that the company has began implementing a plan to divide the country."

MP: Govt. not serious in inquiry into oil smuggling charges

Baghdad: The Iraqi government is not serious in forming a committee to investigate the oil smuggling reports, a Kurdistan Blocs Coalition (KBC) MP said. Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani had called on the Iraqi government to create a joint committee with Erbil administration in order to investigate the incriminations exchanged between Baghdad and Erbil over oil smuggling. Deputy PM for energy affairs, Hussein al-Shahrestani had welcomed the idea, reports said. The Iraqi government has ignored the oil smuggling accusations, said Farhad Atrushi. Atrushi continued "this shows that the allegations against the Kurdistan Region were not right and now they [Baghdad officials] have withdrawn the accusations." The same MP charged some senior officials in Baghdad of smuggling Iraqi crude oil to Israel through the Jordanian Aqaba Port.

Gorran spokesperson calls for dialogue over political crisis

Erbil: A spokesperson for Gorran (Change) Movement invited the parties to gather for dialogue in order to break through the current "suffocating" political crisis in Iraq. The current crisis is "suffocating, really grave and dangerous," said Mohamed Tofiq. Tofiq added the situation requires understanding and dialogue by sitting at the table of discussion. Gorran official criticized the political parties for focusing on media as the means for announcing their attempts to settle the crisis. They should rather sit at the table of discussion and announce their efforts and ideas for solving the crisis there, Tofiq said. Issuance of an arrest warrant for Iraqiya List leader, Vice President Tareq Hashemi over terrorism charges, sacking the deputy PM Saleh al-Mutlag, who is also an Iraqiya leader, and the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad over oil have all created a crisis in the country.....

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