London ¬– “The historic news that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and its neighbour, Turkey have concluded a comprehensive agreement to build oil and gas pipelines to ship the autonomous region’s rich hydrocarbon reserves to world markets” has been formally welcomed in a motion in the British Parliament.
The Early Day Motion, tabled by Robert Halfon MP – a senior Conservative MP and old friend of the Kurdistan Region – “warmly welcomes” the news and cites several positive consequences of the deals.
The motion says that it “could allow the Kurdistan Region to export two million barrels per day of oil to world markets and at least 10 billion cubic metres per year of gas to Turkey in a move that will increase the security and diversity of energy supplies.”
It further recognises that this represents “a triumph of diplomacy based on hard-headed self-interest between two places which were once at loggerheads” and adds the hope that “it can underpin a successful peace process between Turkey and its Kurds.”
The motion from Mr Halfon, who is Vice-Chair of the all-party parliamentary group on the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, also addresses the fears expressed by some for KRG-Baghdad relations.
The motion “rejects the unreasonable fear that economic independence for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will lead to the disintegration of Iraq, because the country as a whole will gain from the success of the Kurdistan region, oil will remain the property of the people of Iraq and the proceeds of energy sales will be shared by all according to a much needed and robust revenue sharing formula and a fully-functioning federal system, as outlined in the Iraqi constitution which was approved by the people of Iraq in 2005.”
Mr Halfon’s Early Day Motion was tabled in the immediate wake of the news of the deals between the KRG and Turkey. It will be supported by other parliamentary friends of the Kurdistan Region as well as MPs from all parties in the days to come.
The Early Day Motion is a parliamentary mechanism that allows MPs to put opinions on the record and can then be used to raise issues with ministers, in parliamentary questions and debates and to alert the media.
MPs from the all-party parliamentary group, which is sending a delegation to the Kurdistan Region this week, then aim to seek a special debate on progress in the Kurdistan Region, including this historic news.
The full text is at http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/693