Oil Dispute: Agreeing to Disagree, for now

There is no actual oil agreement except for an implicit and general one to the effect that the status quo shall continue until after Iraqi elections next April. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government continues to reject contracts and the Kurdistan region reserves the right to export, waiting to see how the Iraqi government will deal with Kurdistan’s financial demands.

This is exactly where the complexity of the different ​​economic and political languages used between Baghdad and Erbil resides. The latter is looking for and implementing solutions on the ground, and does not wait for electoral or political considerations to get its interests. The former is politically and hypothetically dealing with the events, both exacerbating and controlling the situation at once, be it through elections or regional and international events.

The Kurdish oil controversy would not have become a crisis in and of itself had the bridges of trust and strategic cooperation been built between Baghdad and Erbil earlier. There is no point in trying to force the Kurdistan region to experiment amid the destruction of the Middle East, to adhere to work procedures and mechanisms that date back to the past and have controlled the other parts of Iraq and obstructed any attempt to promote it.

Taking advantage of the Kurdistan region’s experiment, cooperating with it, containing and developing its economic aspirations, attempting to dissipate fears and doubts, and finding joint work mechanisms is a way toward ensuring an eventual joint language between Baghdad and Erbil.

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