Turkey focuses on energy during Kurdish talks

Aug. 1, 2013 at 8:09 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The Turkish government said it discussed common interests in the regional energy sector with visiting delegates from Kurdish administration in northern Iraq.

The Turkish Foreign Minister published an outline Thursday of meetings this week in Ankara between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.

It said both sides focused "particularly energy" during bilateral talks. The KRG said Barzani was accompanied by regional Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami and high-ranking trade delegates.

"Both sides emphasized the importance of strengthening economic and trade relations and increasing coordination in the field of energy," the KRG said in a statement.

Genel Energy, an oil company led by former BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward, said the infrastructure for an independent export pipeline from the Kurdish region to Turkey should be finished by the end of the year

The Kurdish and central government in Baghdad are at odds on jurisdiction related to the oil sector. Baghdad said independent deals with the KRG may be illegal.

An oil pipeline from northern Iraq to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan has been the target of frequent insurgent attacks.

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