Iraqi Kurds, Turkey said to have signed oil sales deal

Apr 17, 2013, 2:13 PM EDT
Barham Salih, prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Government, speaks during conference of Kurdistan-Iraq Oil and Gas forum in the northern city of Arbil, on November 13, 2011.

Iraq’s Kurdish region has agreed to sell Turkey oil and gas bypassing the central government in Baghdad, Bloomberg reports. The deal is likely to worsen the deteriorating relations between the semi-autonomous region and the central government over ownership of oil revenues. A private agreement was reportedly signed last month when Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in Ankara. Neither side has confirmed on denied the report. Iraq’s deputy prime minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, said his government has told Turkey that it doesn’t allow oil agreements without central government approval, and that Turkey must respect Iraqi sovereignty.