Prime Minister Barzani said that the people of Kurdistan suffered unspeakable crimes under the former regime including chemical bombardment and now want an Iraq that treats everyone as equal citizens. ‘We believe that the only path to Iraq’s unity and stability is by genuinely adhering to the constitution, which mandates power-sharing and wealth-sharing.
These principles especially apply to the management of our country’s natural resources. We have always and continue to confirm that we work as real partners, but because of our past full of oppression and killing, it is very difficult to trust others to decide our destiny.’
Prime Minister Barzani emphasised that Kurdistan needs to be an equal partner to Baghdad and wants Iraq to be a country at peace with itself, removed from the centralised system that still courses through the country.
He said, ‘The finalisation of our energy cooperation with Turkey is a great achievement for Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. I want to reassure our colleagues in Baghdad that this process will bring us together. Our doors have always been open to discussion and dialogue, and they will remain open.’
The Kurdistan and Turkish energy ministers, who are in serious, detailed and constructive discussions about the cooperation in the energy sector, are also encouraging the federal government in Baghdad to join the discussions about the best revenue-sharing formula for the proceeds of crude oil exports.
Minister Yildiz reiterated the Turkish leadership’s focus on the common interest of all parties and Turkey’s hopes for a three-way partnership that can have a positive impact on the unity and stability of Iraq, ‘We believe we can have strong impact on an understanding between Erbil and Baghdad,’ he said.
Dr Hawrami told the conference that the new pipeline from Kurdistan to Turkey is operational. ‘The new pipeline is now tested and up to 350,000 barrels per day will flow in the coming year and replace the current trucking of oil from the Kurdistan Region to Turkey where it is mainly bartered for products such as benzene,’ he said.