TEHRAN, YJC. -- Erbil wants to further relations with Turkey following the solution process between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and has suggested a 'strategic partnership.'
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met yesterday with Prime Minister of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani – a visit that comes after US Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced stop in Iraq over the weekend.
The meeting included important agenda items such as the withdrawal of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members from Turkey, the situation in Syria, and relations with the Bagdad administration.
According to Turkish media, Barzani’s agenda for the meeting included a 'strategic partnership' request. It has been learned that Erbil wants to further relations with Turkey following the solution process between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and that Erbil has suggested a 'strategic partnership.'
It has been indicated that the Kurdish administration, faced with a Tehran-Baghdad alliance, wants to secure itself through relations with Turkey. It has also been learned that Barzani seeks to render permanent the marketing of Northern Iraq’s oil and natural gas to the world by means of Turkey.
A planned pipeline that would allow Iraqi Kurds to export oil directly to Turkey has long worried Baghdad. These concerns are shared by the United States, which fears that economic independence for Kurds could push Iraq into deeper instability.
US officials traveling with Kerry to Baghdad said the secretary would stress the "importance of maintaining the unity of Iraq." Kerry is to argue that "separate efforts undercut the unity of the country" and that the "Kurdish republic" will be unable to "survive financially without the support of Baghdad," one official said.
Relating to oil exports, Baghdad says it alone has the authority to control the exports of Iraq, which holds the world's fourth-largest oil reserves, while the Kurds say their right to do so is enshrined in Iraq's federal constitution, drawn up following the US-led invasion of 2003.