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Prime Minister leads KRG delegation to World Economic Forum in Istanbul
WED, 6 JUN 2012 18:59
Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani led a KRG delegation to the 2012 World Economic Forum in Istanbul on June 4 and 5. He also attended private meetings with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other senior Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglou.
In their meeting, Prime Minister Erdoğan welcomed the KRG delegation and discussed the ongoing developments in bilateral relations.
Prime Minister Barzani thanked the Turkish Prime Minister for the welcome saying, “The Kurdistan Region is pleased with the continued progress that we have been able to make in building an economic partnership between our peoples.” He added, “We are committed to building on our mutual needs and interests to promote a future of peace and opportunity for all of us.”
Both sides also discussed the ongoing political developments in Iraq and the broader region, agreeing that a government of true partnership must be formed and that the political crisis in Iraq must be solved through peaceful and constitutional means.
The Prime Minister was accompanied on his visit by KRG Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami, KRG Minister of Planning Dr Ali Sindi, and the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa.
Minister Hawrami held meetings with Taner Yildiz, the Turkish Energy Minister, to further plans for cooperation between the KRG and Turkey in the energy sector.
In a panel session, entitled “New Energy Corridors,” Minister Hawrami outlined the Kurdistan Region’s export targets for oil and gas. He said the Kurdistan Region aims to lift output to 1 million barrels per day by 2015, reaching 2 million bpd by 2019. Another 1 million bpd from neighboring provinces could also flow through the Kurdistan Region to export markets, he said.
“If Iraq is serious about reaching 8 million bpd of exports, at least 3 million of it will come from the north,” Minister Hawrami said, adding: “Within a couple of years there will be additional pipeline infrastructure to get the crude of the Kurdistan Region to the market.”
Minister Taner Yildiz also took part in the session, saying that the Turkish government had given the green light to private companies in Turkey to construct a new pipeline within its borders.
In a panel session entitled “Infrastructure: Getting It Right,” Dr Ali Sindi, the KRG Minister of Planning, led a discussion on how to create the right infrastructure to maximize social and economic returns and enhance regional partnerships.
Minister Mustafa, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, highlighted the importance of the KRG’s participation in international events like the World Economic Forum, saying: “These events give us an opportunity to contribute to the international dialogue about growth and development and to learn from the experiences of others.”
Regarding their meetings with Turkish officials Minister Mustafa said, “The continued exchange of meetings between our respective leaders is vital if we are to take full advantage of the opportunities that our economic cooperation has made available. It is my hope that we will begin to see partnerships grow in all sectors as we continue to see progress in our economic relations.”
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization which works to connect business, political and academic leaders to help industry agendas on a global and regional level. The 2012 Istanbul Forum was designed to address issues specific to the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia, and members of the KRG delegation participated in sessions of the forum dedicated to energy issues and regional infrastructure.
The WEF has extended an invitation to Prime Minister Barzani to lead a KRG delegation to the next annual WEF summit in January 2013 in Davos, Switzerland.
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