U.N. tackles water, oil in Iraq
BAGHDAD, June 18 (UPI) -- A U.N.-backed conference secured commitments from the Kurdish and Baghdad governments to work to settle outstanding issues over natural resources.
The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq wrapped up a conference in Baghdad with the Iraqi Parliament to deal with sharing oil revenue between the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq and the central government in Baghdad.
Iraq lacks a national hydrocarbon law to deal with the sharing of oil revenue. Kurdish oil exports started earlier this month, however, with revenue deposited into national coffers.
Participants in the meeting backed calls to support a regional dialogue, meanwhile, to address management of water from the Euphrates River, the U.N. reports.
Iraq suffers from water shortages, which have a negative impact not only on the agricultural sector but also on electrical capacity from hydroelectric dams.
The dispute may also harm relations with neighboring Turkey despite modest efforts to improve bilateral ties.
Turkish dams are blocking northern flow from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers while Iran moves to control its own water resources as the agricultural sector suffers.
A trilateral committee from Iraq, Turkey and Syria convened in Istanbul in October to tackle the issue, though little progress was made. Iraq does not have agreements with Iran or Turkey on water issues.