Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sanctions for Northern Iraq?

Turkey appears set to begin measures that would amount to the economic isolation of northern Iraq (the Kurdistan Regional Government) to apply pressure on the KRG to bring the PKK to heel.

Such measures would bring to a halt efforts to try and create a community of economic interests between the Kurds of iraq and Turkey (both in terms of its own Kurdish regions and the country as a whole) based upon giving northern Iraq and its energy resources a much more secure access route to world markets. Another unintended consequence, at a time when the U.S. is hoping to isolate and pressure Damascus, is the benefits Damascus might receive. Gareth Jones reports that "Turkish authorities have been discussing bypassing northern Iraq by closing the Habur border gate and diverting all truck traffic from Turkey via Syria and then into Iraq through the border crossing close at Rabia."

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