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Article updated: 1/21/2013 10:19 AM

Exxon Mobil boss meets Iraqi leader in Baghdad


BAGHDAD -- Iraq's government says the head of Exxon Mobil has met with the prime minister to discuss the company's Iraq plans, which have angered Baghdad.

The meeting Monday in Baghdad comes as tensions rise between Iraq's Kurdish region and the central government over oil rights.

Exxon infuriated Baghdad by agreeing with the Kurds to hunt for oil in their largely autonomous region in late 2011. That pact includes exploration of land claimed by both the Kurds and Arabs.

The Irving, Texas-based firm has been planning to pull out of its stake in Iraq's 8.6-billion-barrel West Qurna-1 oil field and focus instead on the Kurdish contract.

The statement says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson discussed the company's activities and working conditions in Iraq.

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