President Nechirvan Barzani discusses energy collaborations with UAE President

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday and met with President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. The discussions focused on strengthening energy collaborations and exploring opportunities for the UAE’s involvement in infrastructure and development projects in the Kurdistan Region, according to a statement from the KRI Presidency.

Following his meeting with UAE leader Mohammed Bin Zayed, Barzani expressed his strong friendship in a post on X, stating that he was delighted to meet his “friend” and noted that their discussions covered a range of issues.

“We discussed regional developments, further strengthening ties between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq with the United Arab Emirates, along with other pressing issues,” President Barzani said.

The meeting also emphasized strengthening bilateral collaborations between Iraq as a whole and the Kurdistan Region in particular, focusing on trade, economy, and energy. Additionally, the discussion explored opportunities for UAE investment in infrastructure and development projects.

President Barzani’s visit to the UAE comes at times as tensions escalate between the Erbil and Baghdad governments over potential gas exports from the Khor Mor gas field to Iraq’s Kirkuk power plant.

The Khor Mor gas field, located in the Chamchamal district of Sulaimani province, is operated jointly by Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum, both headquartered in the UAE.

In its Tuesday session, the Iraqi Council of Ministers approved the procurement of gas from the Khor Mor gas field to fuel Iraq’s Kirkuk gas power plant. This decision prompted a prompt response from the Kurdistan Region Government through its Ministry of Natural Resources on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the ministry responded to the Iraqi government’s decision with a statement affirming that gas production from the Khor Mor field is allocated to the Region’s electricity sector through Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum, adding that the sale of gas production from the field must not proceed without approval from the KRG.

The persistent disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad regarding oil and gas matters are partially rooted in their failure to enact the necessary legislation pertaining to the sector.

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