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Oil deal a sign of hope between Baghdad, Erbil

An oil agreement signed by the Iraqi and Kurdish governments over the management of oil proceeds could be a new step in the normalization of relations between them.
Iraqi workers walk through the Taq Taq oil field in Arbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region, August 16, 2014. Picture taken August 16, 2014.  REUTERS/Azad Lashkari  (IRAQ - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS COMMODITIES) - RTR43SUK

As soon as the oil agreement signed Dec. 2 between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was announced, optimism emerged in Iraqi and international circles, which considered the agreement to be the gateway to achieving a comprehensive Iraqi reconciliation. The agreement put an end to years of conflicts over the mechanisms of oil investment and export, yet certain political parties expressed doubt, to a point where State of Law Coalition representative Hanan al-Fatlawi described the agreement as being a “national disaster.”

The agreement was signed in Baghdad by KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Dec. 2. It states that the KRG should send 250,000 barrels of oil per day to the Iraqi government, and it should export 300,000 barrels of Kirkuk oil through the KRG-Turkey pipelines. In return, Baghdad will give the KRG its share of the Iraqi budget, amounting to 17%, in addition to sending support for the Kurdish peshmerga forces in terms of armament and salaries, considering them part of the Iraqi defense system.

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