On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region Masrour Barzani in Ankara amidst the ongoing stalemate over exporting Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) oil.
The meeting marked Barzani as the first international leader to officially visit President Erdogan after his successful re-election in May. Their meeting took place in the Turkish leader’s palace located in Ankara.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Barzani stated he extended his congratulations to President Erdogan on his re-election. Furthermore, they “discussed advancing bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey and the latest developments in Iraq and the region.” An official report of the meeting’s proceedings is anticipated from the KRG.
This significant meeting occurs against the backdrop of an ongoing impasse regarding the export of Iraqi and KRG crude oil through a pipeline leading to Turkey’s Mediterranean export terminals. Following an inconclusive meeting between a Turkish energy delegation and Iraqi officials in Baghdad on Monday, further discussions are deemed necessary, according to anonymous officials who spoke to Reuters.
Notably, Turkey stopped the flow of Kurdistan Region’s oil through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline since a Paris arbitration court ruling on March 23 ruled in favor of Baghdad against Ankara, saying the latter had breached a 1973 pipeline agreement and allowed the Region to begin independent oil exports in 2014, to the ire of Iraq.
Around 400,000 barrels of the day were being exported by Erbil through Ankara, in addition to some 75,000 barrels of Kirkuk oil daily through the same pipeline.
Despite an agreement between Erbil and Baghdad over the exportation of Kurdish oil, Turkey refuses to resume the flow of oil through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline, citing alleged damages to the pipeline due to the February quakes.
A delegation from Turkey on Monday visited Iraq, discussing the matter with Kurdish and Iraqi officials. The details about the meeting have not officially been published but a member of the Iraqi parliament said that the Turkish delegation said the pipeline is ready for use.