Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online scammers exploit MH17 crash

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs ' €80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Widodo poised to become Indonesian president

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    Read more

Middle East

Video: Kurds consolidate autonomy amid Iraq crisis

Video by Adam PLETTS , Selim EL MEDDEB

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-20

A jihadist offensive in northern Iraq has humiliated and hurt the government in Baghdad, but it has strengthened the position of Kurds who have long dreamed of independence. FRANCE 24 was on the ground as the Kurdish regional government was formed.

After nine months of negotiations, Kurdish political parties formed a regional government on Friday, an important first step in securing greater autonomy and concessions from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

There are longstanding differences between Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq and the central Baghdad administration, but the sudden and massive advance by the jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria, also known as ISIL) has given the Kurds the upper hand.

When the Iraqi army fled from the jihadists, the Kurdish military forces, known as the Peshmerga, deployed to confront the rebels.

Last week the Peshmerga took control of the oil fields near Kirkuk and Mosul that the Iraqi army had abandoned.

Oil key to independence

Oil may prove to be the key to future negotiations between the Kurds and Maliki’s government. The Kurds have already succeeded in unilaterally exporting oil to neighbouring Turkey.

Experts say it will be fairly easy to re-open and begin exporting the oil from the Kirkuk and Mosul fields, and significantly boost reserves and funds for the Kurdish Regional Government.

If Kurdish politicians are still reluctant to talk openly about independence, much of the population is eagerly awaiting that long-awaited day.

To watch FRANCE 24’s full report from the autonomous region of Kurdistan click on the player above.

Date created : 2014-06-20

  • IRAQ - USA

    Obama ready to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Video: Iraq’s Kurdish fighters ready 'to face death' against jihadists

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Islamists seize most of main Iraqi oil refinery at Baiji

    Read more

COMMENT(S)