Seeking financial rescue, KRG offered Turkey major oil assets

Emails published by Wikileaks reveal a proposal for Turkey to take equity stakes in Kurdistan's biggest oil fields, in exchange for nearly $5 billion of immediate financial assistance.
Turkey's then-Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (R) and President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani in Diyarbakir on Nov. 16, 2013. (Reuters)

ERBIL - With his government drowning in debt, Kurdistan's oil minister earlier this year laid out a bold offer to his counterpart in Turkey: take substantial stakes in the region's main oil and gas fields in exchange for nearly $5 billion in debt forgiveness and cash.

In a March 19, 2016 memo, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami acknowledges over a billion dollars that Turkey has already sunk into Kurdistan and its energy sector. Then, he effectively asks Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak to double down.

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