The fourth annual Sulaimani Forum, which was held at AUIS on March 16th and 17th, was featured prominently in leading publication MEES: "It also emerged on 11 March that Turkey is sending $200mn to the KRG in order to help ease the financial strain caused by the temporary cessation of exports. Effectively a tacit admission that Turkey was responsible for the pipeline shutdown as it pursued military operations against the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Definitely a boon, but it still leaves the KRG short by around $120mn. The financial assistance could prove highly contentious for the KRG and President Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Turkey is viewed unfavorably by many in the KRG, particularly in Sulaimaniyah Province in the west, stronghold of the KDP’s traditional rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the opposition Goran party. This was exemplified at the Sulaimaniyah Forum on 16-17 March, where any criticism of Turkey was guaranteed to prompt a heavy round of applause. The KDP’s relations with Turkey and accusations of economic mismanagement and corruption were hot topics of conversation among many Kurds attending the event, along with the perils of relying solely on Turkey – or indeed any single country - as an export route."