The Turkish-Kurdish 'Secret Agreement'

In terms of energy and resources, the agreement apparently says that Turkey agrees to store Iraqi Kurdistan's oil in the country's Ceyhan port until it can be exported on. In return, Iraqi Kurdistan agrees to supply Turkey with oil at reasonable prices.

And it seems that the part of the supposedly secret agreement that deals with oil and natural resources is the most troublesome. The Iraqi Constitution says that the Kurdish region has the right to build relationships with other countries, especially in commerce and culture and that it doesn’t need prior approval from the federal government to do this.

“Article 121 says that the region has the right to develop cultural, developmental and trade ties with other countries through offices that represent it,” confirms local legal expert, Al-Hakem Sheikh Latif.

However the bit where Iraqi Kurdistan supplies oil to Turkey is different. The semi-autonomous northern region has been fighting with Baghdad for a long time about who owns the oil that is found in the region and whether sales and exports need to be channeled through Baghdad (with a percentage of profits then returned to the Kurdish region) or whether Iraqi Kurdistan can ship oil out by itself.

“There is no explicit mention of oil exports in the Constitution,” Latif says. “It all  depends on how the corresponding legislation is interpreted. And in this case Baghdad and Erbil interpret it differently.”

And Iraqi Kurdish government spokesperson, Dzia, insists that the region has not violated either the Iraqi Constitution with it's oil exports, nor any Iraqi laws.

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