Iraqi PM: Agreement reached with Kurdistan to resume Kirkuk oil exports
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday said Baghdad had reached an agreement with Kurdistan Region authorities to resume the export of oil from Kirkuk Province.
The Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have decided to restart Kirkuk oil exports through Turkey’s Ceyhan port soon, Abadi said during a weekly press conference in Baghdad.
“It was agreed with the Kurdish side to start exporting oil from Kirkuk,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by Reuters, but did not provide a timeline for the restart.
Abadi added that the Iraqi government and the KRG had also “agreed to tackle other differences later.”
The Iraqi Prime Minister revealed that discussions between officials in Kurdistan and the Turkish government were ongoing without providing further information, Reuters reported.
Kurdistan 24 was unable to reach the relevant Kurdish representatives for immediate comment.
The export of crude oil from Kirkuk was halted following the military takeover of the disputed province by Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias last October.
The oil-rich region was previously under the protection of Kurdish Peshmerga forces following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in 2014 and subsequent collapse of the Iraqi army.
October’s military invasion and takeover of Kirkuk was one of several punitive measures—including an international flight ban—Baghdad had imposed on Erbil following the historic independence referendum in September.
Despite an overwhelming majority voting for secession from Iraq, the central government refused to recognize the results, claiming the plebiscite was illegitimate.
Since then, delegations from both the KRG and the Iraqi government have exchanged visits as positive relations between the two are slowly re-emerging.