Kurds Will Return to Baghdad to Negotiate Oil Exports

Government spokesperson Safeen Dizayee denies this. Returning to Baghdad is a normal thing to do, he says. “The [Iraqi Kurdish] region has not failed. It's main concern now is falling oil prices on the international market. That was the main obstacle as the region tried to sell its oil,” he insists.

So why are Iraqi Kurdish politicians seeking another round of negotiations in Baghdad? Senior sources inside the Iraqi Kurdish government say there are political pressures at work. The decision to start selling oil independently is being blamed on the most powerful of Iraqi Kurdistan’s political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP.

Other political parties in the government apparently approved the KDP's plan but only under certain conditions. They also approved it, believing that the move would help pay salaries and prevent Iraqi Kurdistan's financial problems from getting any worse. But the plan doesn't seem to have worked.

“I believe there is now a lot of internal pressure on the KDP, to return to Baghdad to solve the oil and budget issues,” says Arez Abdullah, a senior member of Iraqi Kurdistan's next most powerful party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK.

“Other political parties have a right to pressure the KDP because the plan to sell oil independently hasn't worked,” the politician, who is also an MP in the federal Parliament in Baghdad, told NIQASH.

Additionally sources in the Iraqi Kurdish government are speculating about external pressure.

In mid-October, Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani was in Tehran for a conference with other international leaders. During that time he met with senior Iranian officials, including the Minister of Defence, Ali Shamkhani, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

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