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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Kurdish Independence from Iraq in Five Years, KRG Advisor Says

By RUDAW 25/1/2014
Political analysts say that Kurdistan’s stability, inside a region in turmoil, has raised its status as a secure anchor to promote greater peace in the Middle East. Photo by Zhenar Omar
Political analysts say that Kurdistan’s stability, inside a region in turmoil, has raised its status as a secure anchor to promote greater peace in the Middle East. Photo by Zhenar Omar

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Within five years the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq will have declared independence, according to a senior energy advisor at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

"Kurdistan is going to be rid of its status as a region within Iraq,” said Ali Balu,former head of Iraqi parliament's oil and gas committee. “A plan is underway for Kurdistan to be an independent state in the near future," he said.

Balu believes that plans and preparations are being made on the international stage aimed at declaring independence, which he says will be driven by Kurdistan’s geostrategic position and rich energy reserves.

He said that Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani’s participation at the World Economic Forum in Davos paves the way for international recognition of Kurdistan as an independent state.

An MP from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) also believes that oil plays a crucial role in making the case for Kurdish independence from Iraq.

“The existence of international oil companies has put the Kurdistan Region on the radar,” said the MP from the Kurdish legislature. He said oil had raised Kurdistan’s international political and economic standing.

Political analysts say that Kurdistan’s stability, inside a region in turmoil, has raised its status as a secure anchor to promote greater peace in the Middle East.

"The Kurdistan Region is not a state, but it has a role in stabilizing the Middle East,” noted Dr. Jutyar Adil, a professor of political science at Salahaddin University.

The Kurdistan Region sits on some 45 billion barrels of oil reserves and more than 110 trillion cubic feet of gas. It has granted oil and gas concessions to some of the world's biggest energy companies, including ExxonMobil, Gazprom Neft, Total and Chevron.

Last year, the Kurdish enclave also signed a multibillion-dollar energy package with neighboring Turkey, which includes construction of a second oil pipeline and one for gas.

Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani has repeatedly warned that the Kurds would seek independence if Baghdad continues to violate their constitutional privileges, including the right to export oil and receive 17 percent of the national budget.

The KRG and Baghdad have been at loggerheads over oil, the budget, Kurdish Peshmarga forces and disputed territories claimed by both sides. 

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J Ricci | 26/1/2014
I hope that is true. It is part of why I invested in Gulf Keystone, ticker GUKYF. Not a tout as it might be a bad investment, but anyway I can help Iraqi Kurdistan become independent is a worthwhile endeavor.
tuna | 26/1/2014
How to buy that oil your "kurdistan" ? over Baghdat ? over Iran ? over collapsed syria ? ...over Turkey ! yes Turkey ...one way Turkey... one democratic ,seculer and free country in the region not Turkey is not like Iran not like Syria not like Al-Iraq al arabia... But kurds in northern ıraq hate Turkey... how will be like?
abc def | 26/1/2014
what's with kirkuk and mosul?
turd turd | 26/1/2014
@tuna: please stop writting total nonsense! turkey is as bad as the other states. here for your information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds_in_Turkey (Link of wikipedia about kurds in turkey)
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 26/1/2014
Take the oil and Kirkuk city as soon as possible inclduing the disputed terroteries as soon as possible and brin them under the KRG Administration. Start negotiations with baghda and plan the exit strategy with EU, UN, USA and Baghdad for the coming three years.
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