Middle East

Article excerpt

While the world's attention was focused on the postelection violence in Iran last month, politicai developments in neighboring Iraq took a happier turn. Iraqi Kurds and the Iraqi central government worked out an agreement to allow oil from the Kurdish self-ruled region to be exported by pipeline through Turkey for the first time. The Kurds and Baghdad have long been at odds over management of the oil fields and sharing of the national wealth. The northern Kurdish region lias up to 45 billion barrels of Iraq's 1 18 billion barrels of oil reserves. Oil from the Tawke andTaqTaq fields of the north will be exported through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline to Turkey 's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan for export to world markets.

In Lebanon, Saad Hariri, the son of assassinated former prime minister Rafik Hariri, was selected as the new prime minister by the newly elected parliament on June 27. With a stable new government, Lebanon's economy is likely to grow by about 3% in 2009, as reforms and privatizations resume and tourists feel more comfortable traveling to the country, according to a report by Standard Chartered. …