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Iraq-Turkey arbitration moves one step closer to final ruling

A draft ruling is pending approval by the International Court of Arbitration, with Kurdistan's oil independence potentially hanging in the balance.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) receives KRG President Nechirvan Barzani (left) in Ankara on Jan. 26, 2023. (Photo credit: KRG Presidency Office)

An arbitration tribunal in Paris has issued a draft ruling in a legal dispute between Iraq and Turkey, moving the proceedings one step closer to a final decision that could undermine Iraqi Kurdistan's ability to export oil independently.

Contrary to rumors circulating on social media and in Iraqi political circles, a final ruling has not been issued, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the case.

Under the rules of the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), any draft award decided by arbitrators must be approved by the court itself before it can be enforced. A final ruling approved by the ICA is supposed to be "imminent," according one of the officials, who said the parties have not been told the contents of the draft ruling.

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