CWC’s 4th Kurdistan-Iraq Oil and Gas Conference

 

A changing political landscape

 

Vitally, most of the impressive line up of speakers were in agreement that political risk was decreasing and that the interim agreement between Baghdad and Erbil was a critical step forward. This was noted by renowned Venezuelan energy expert Dr. Arilio Parra who said at the event, the deal “strengthens the drive toward greater prosperity in the KRG and Iraq itself”.

 

Other observers noted that even if the deal does not survive (and no doubt it faces challenges) it still represents a remarkable change from the recent past, another sign of what some have described as a “night and day” difference between Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi and his predecessor.

 

Notably, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani wrote an open letter to the conference participants, expressing how “Mr. Abadi shares my view that the people of Kurdistan deserve a better future, deserve freedom and economic stability and deserve bigger and stronger democracy.”

 

Iraqi Deputy PM Rowsch Shaways called the interim deal a “win-win” and hailed the new “consensus and cooperation.” Kurdish Minister for Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami (pictured) spoke of working “hand in hand with our partners in Baghdad” before saying that “colleagues in Baghdad know that the KRG is self-sufficient and this helps the federal government move forward and realize a solution is attainable.”

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