Iraq-Turkey negotiations highlight big barriers to northern pipeline restart

High-level diplomacy has failed to make progress, and a recent U.S. legal filing from Turkey suggests a new phase of adversarial action.
Iraqi Oil Minister Hayyan Abdulghani (left) and Turkish Energy Minister Arparslan Bayraktar (right) meet in Ankara on Aug. 22, 2023. (Photo credit: Oil Ministry)

ANKARA - Recent negotiations have failed to bring Baghdad and Ankara toward an agreement to restart Iraq’s northern oil exports, raising the likelihood that much of Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil production will remain offline for the foreseeable future.

The latest sign of acrimony was a Sept. 7 court filing in the U.S. in which Turkey claims Iraq owes $957 million stemming from an arbitration ruling issued by the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in late March.

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