The rapprochement appears to have come too late to stop the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from starting independent crude oil exports through Turkey, which has yet to give its official blessing to the contentious plan.

Speaking to MEES by telephone from the KRG capital Irbil, Mr Zibari declined to comment on whether Ankara had provided any indication during a visit earlier this month to Baghdad by his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, on Ankara’s intentions regarding independent KRG exports of crude oil in defiance of Baghdad. Mr Davutoglu’s 10 November visit came just days after Mr Zibari himself visited Ankara for talks with Turkish officials, a diplomatic flurry that comes amid growing concern over the spillover of the Syrian civil war into Iraq and Ankara’s mushrooming energy relationship with the KRG, which is gearing up for crude oil exports through Turkey. (CONTINUED - 1548 WORDS)