This might be a time for the new Iraqi government to press the Turkish government in stem the Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG oil shipments via Ceyhan port in Turkey, said John VanPool, Turkey and Black Sea Regional Analyst from the European Geopolitical Forum on Wednesday.
VanPool said that the general topic of the Iraqi president’s visit to Turkey may be security issues but as an aside the other items might be the KRG-Iraqi Central Government dispute over oil export revenues.
According to a statement released by the Iraqi Presidency, Fuad Masum will visit Turkey and hold bilateral talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss issues including the fight on terrorism in the region and energy issues. Masum will be in Turkey until 24 April.
"The oil issue between KRG-Iraqi Central Government has died down somewhat recently, but with the KRG running short on funds due to the oil price drop and the recent agreement between Marine Management Services and Baghdad for the latter to stop shipping Kurdish oil, this may be the time to press the Turkish government," VanPool said.
The Kurdish Regional Government is $17 billion in debt since the federal Iraqi government in Baghdad only paid a portion from the federal budget to the regional government in Erbil.
The federal government cut KRG's share within the budget after accusing them of illegal oil exports, last year.
In September 2014, the federal government of Iraq, in Baghdad filed a $300 million case against the KRG’s oil tanker shipping partner, Greece’s Marine Management Services, MMS. Baghdad claimed that MMS was participating illegally in the sale of Iraqi oil without Baghdad’s approval.
On April 3, Baghdad won the lawsuit and MMS agreed to stay away from Kurdish oil, which is not approved by Baghdad.
By Murat Temizer