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Ankara’s dramatic and positive shift toward Erbil is driven primarily by its aim to elevate its credentials as an energy transit hub, but is also in line with the AKP’s policies towards the domestic Kurdish issue. Regardless of the position of Washington, Ankara and Erbil now perceive their political interests as synchronizing with their longstanding economic interests. Yet Turkish and KRG authorities must still need to take a series of bold political decisions – such as either to accommodate or confront Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad. Moreover, if Syria breaks apart and an autonomous Kurdish region that favors pan-Kurdish unity emerges, Ankara may rethink its political decision to hold Iraqi Kurds close as economic partners.

 

CONTRIBUTOR
Matthew J. Bryza
Matthew J. Bryza

Ambassador (ret.) Matthew J. Bryza is a Non-Resident Fellow of the Atlantic Council.

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Foreword Following the violent dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, there had been a shared sense of hope for a more peaceful future for the European continent. Unfortunately, this comfortability disappeared after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to march against the Ukrainian forces throughout the border on 24 February 2022. This marked a turning point not only for the...
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