On July 7, 2013, Barzani visited Baghdad and met with Maliki amid a positive atmosphere, favoring the resolution of the pending issues between both sides, namely the distribution of oil wealth management powers in the country.
Kurdish MP Farhad al-Atroushi, who is close to Barzani, told Al-Monitor, “The current phase is witnessing an agreement between Baghdad and Erbil regarding the Oil and Gas Law.”
Atroushi, an MP in the Iraqi parliamentary Oil Committee, added, “The Law of Provincial Authorities that was recently legislated and that granted local governments the privilege of participating in the management of oil wealth with the federal government pushes the latter to legislate the Oil and Gas Law, to reach a final decision regarding the situation in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Otherwise, chaos will break loose in the Iraqi oil sector.”
He continued, saying, “I cannot say that Barzani and Maliki have agreed on passing the Oil and Gas Law, but they see eye to eye on this matter.”
He said, “This issue will be settled during the discussions of the sub-committees that were set up for this purpose between Baghdad and Erbil.”
According to Atroushi, “It is better for the central government to enact the Oil and Gas Law, even if it grants [the Kurdistan region] broad powers to enter into contracts with foreign oil exploration companies.”
In a news conference held following Barzani and Maliki’s meeting, the latter talked about the importance of “resolving in a realistic and brotherly way” the problems between Baghdad and Erbil. Barzani, however, said that his visit to Baghdad was designed “to send a message to the external and internal arenas that we are brothers, and are keen to communicate [with each other]. This is particularly true since we live in a region full of problems and crises, which we will overcome based on cooperation between us.”