December 28, 2013 – ERBIL-Hewlêr  – worldbulletin :  Reports have claimed that the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government KRG in Iraq’s has backed down from using Turkey’s Halkbank as a mediator for transfers in a deal made for oil exports with Turkey.

Turkey’s Sabah newspaper made the claim after quoting the Iraqi Kurdistan capital Erbil-based Rudaw website. In a deal made between the Kurdistan prime minister Nechirvan Barzani and Baghdad-based Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, deals regarding oil will be conducted via a fund created in the United States, not via Halkbank. According to calculations, this means that Turkey will miss out on $11.5 billion.

Halkbank was targeted in a police operation on December 17 after being accused of breaching international sanctions against Iran.

After months of secretive graft probes, Turkish police on December 17 detained dozens of people, among them the sons of three ministers and the head of state-run Halkbank, after being accused of breaching international sanctions against Iran. Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani agreed with Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani to resolve the outstanding issues concerning the issue of the export of oil from Kurdistan region via the new Kurdish independent pipeline through Turkey, National Iraqi News reported.

Shahristani office said on Thursday that the two sides agreed on the need to be exporting oil produced in Kurdistan region by State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) in accordance with the mechanisms in place to export and pricing of Iraqi oil, and to deposit revenues in the Development Fund for Iraq in New York and distributed in accordance with the annual budget share.