Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is making the rounds in Washington, DC this week. Maliki met with President Obama to discuss the country’s oil laws and boundary disputes within Iraq. At a joint press conference Maliki renewed his call on the US to provide support in rebuilding Iraq. Speaking through a translator, he stressed economic growth.
“We are about to activate such a Strategic Framework Agreement. Efforts on both sides are there in order also to convene an investment conference in October of this year that will combine all foreign investors and all companies that would like and wish to work in Iraq.”
Iraq is currently held under a UN Resolution – called Chapter 7 – that requires the country to pay a portion of its oil revenues as reparations for first Gulf War. Obama said the US is committed to helping Iraq get out of Chapter 7 constraints. The President said Iraq should not be burdened by the sins of a deposed dictator.
“Now, in order to do that, we're going to have to obtain cooperation from various members of the United Nations. I think that there are going to have to be some specific disputes that are resolved between Iraq and some of its neighbors. We intend to be very constructive in that process.”
Elections in Iraq’s Kurdish region are scheduled for this weekend. Leaders from the Northern part of the country hope to lay claim to part of Iraq’s oil resources. The conflict over control of oil in the country is currently a major obstacle to national unity.