Diverse and disputed Kirkuk province is strategic. It is home to tremendous oil reserves, an airport, shares a border with Iran, and links several northern Iraqi provinces to the Kurdistan Region.
Presently, Iran is interested in sending its products to Syria via Iraq because now this route passes through Turkey and requires additional time and extra costs. Iran hopes that transport and visa issues will be solved within the next few months, he added.
For the first time, a Saudi Arabian commercial flight landed in the Kurdistan Region on Monday and it was announced there will be three flights per week between Erbil and Jeddah.
A Saudi delegation headed by Saleh bin Nasser al-Jasser, the director-general, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), was on the flight and then met with Kurdistan Regional Government authorities including Interior Minister Karim Sinjari.
More than 30 foreign nations have missions in the Kurdistan Region capital, including the United States, France, and Germany.
Rosneft, which signed oil and gas deals with the KRG before and after the contentious Kurdistan’s independence referendum, is a key player in the sector.
McGurk, the US president’s special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, is discussing formation of the next Iraqi and Kudistan regional governments. He met with officials from Gorran, Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), Coalition for Justice and Democracy (CDJ), and Komal — four of the six parties that have said they may boycott Baghdad after widespread voter fraud in the May 12 election.
The representative of the Social Democratic Party of Germany said the Kurds and Peshmerga had fought ISIS and extremists on behalf of the world, and that is why it was important for the West to support them, and for that support to continue.
Iraqi parliamentary elections will be held on May 12. Election campaigns will start on April 14 across Iraq, but will be delayed by one day in the Kurdistan Region, as the Region is going to commemorate the Anfal Campaign on April 14.
Iraqi and Kurdish entities will compete for 325 seats in parliament. Of this number, 43 seats are entitled to the Kurdistan Region and 13 for Kirkuk.