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Erdogan, Barzani meet in Ankara as Iraqi oil exports via Turkey remain frozen

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara as the deadlock continues over the exportation of Iraqi and KRG crude.
Iraqi Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (L) meets with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) in Ankara, June 20, 2023.
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Masrour Barzani, the prime minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, became the first foreign leader to pay a formal visit to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following his reelection in May. Barzani met with Erdogan in his palace in Ankara.

Barzani tweeted that he had congratulated the Turkish leader on his reelection and that the pair had “discussed advancing bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and [Turkey] and the latest developments in Iraq and the region.” The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is expected to issue a readout of the meeting.

The visit comes amid a continued deadlock over the exportation of Iraqi and KRG crude via a pipeline running to export terminals on Turkey’s Mediterranean shores. A Monday meeting between a Turkish energy delegation and Iraqi officials in Baghdad was inconclusive and further talks are needed, unnamed officials told Reuters without elaborating.

Turkey halted Iraq’s 450,000 barrels per day of exports running through the northern pipeline on March 25 after the International Chamber of Commerce ordered Ankara to pay damages of $1.5 billion for allowing the KRG to sell its oil independently of Baghdad between 2014 and 2018. The Iraqi government launched the arbitration case on the grounds that the sales were illegal.

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