PM Barzani in Tur­key to dis­cuss de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion

The two sides em­pha­size im­prov­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and in­creas­ing trade, es­pe­cially in the en­ergy sec­tor

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

The Prime Min­is­ter of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG), Nechir­van Barzani, vis­ited neigh­bor­ing Tur­key a few days af­ter a prepara­tory meet­ing for the Kur­dish na­tional con­fer­ence, and met with se­nior mem­bers of the Turk­ish ad­min­is­tra­tion to dis­cuss re­cent de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion.

The Prime Min­is­ter of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG), Nechir­van Barzani, vis­ited neigh­bor­ing Tur­key a few days af­ter a prepara­tory meet­ing for the Kur­dish na­tional con­fer­ence, and met with se­nior mem­bers of the Turk­ish ad­min­is­tra­tion to dis­cuss re­cent de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion.

PM Barzani was re­ceived by Turk­ish Pre­mier Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan on Wed­nes­day July 31. The two PMs dis­cussed sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant topics in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ments in Iraq, the ten­sions in Syria (and the is­sue of es­tab­lish­ing a sys­tem of self-rule in Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan, in par­tic­u­lar), trade re­la­tions be­tween Er­bil and Ankara, and the Kur­dish na­tional con­fer­ence, which is due to be held on Au­gust 20.

The meet­ing lasted two hours and was closed to the Press. The Turk­ish Min­is­ter for En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Taner Yildiz, at­tended along with the Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter, Ah­met Davu­to­glu. On the Kur­dish side, the KRG Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Ashti Hawrami, was present along with Safin Dizayi, the of­fi­cial KRG spokesman, and Imad Ahmed, the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter.

At the meet­ing, the two sides em­pha­sized strength­en­ing bi­lat­eral eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions as well as im­prov­ing en­ergy ties. Mu­tual in­ter­ests were stressed.

One of the topics dis­cussed at the meet­ing were re­cent de­vel­op­ments in Iraq, the des­tiny of the po­lit­i­cal process in the coun­try, and the nor­mal­iza­tion of Er­bilBagh­dad re­la­tions. Em­pha­sis was placed on re­solv­ing the pend­ing dis­putes through peace­ful di­a­logue.

The Turk­ish lead­ers ex­pressed their hap­pi­ness with re­gard to the im­prov­ing re­la­tions be­tween the KRG and the Iraqi fed­eral gov­ern­ment, and to Pres­i­dent Mas- soud Barzani’s visit to Bagh­dad and Prime Min­is­ter Nuri al-Ma­liki’s re­turn visit to Er­bil.

Hav­ing ar­rived late on July 29, PM Barzani met with the Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu on July 30.

Davu­to­glu said de­vel­op­ments in the Mid­dle East, and in Iraq and Syria in par­tic­u­lar, are com­ing about very fast. “There is a need to hold th­ese con­sul­ta­tions from time to time,” he said, re­fer­ring to Barzani’s visit a day be­fore the Kur­dish pre­mier ar­rived in Tur­key.

Davu­to­glu also ex­pressed his hap­pi­ness that Er­bil-Bagh­dad re­la­tions had im­proved through mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and dia- logue.

“PM Barzani paid a visit to Tur­key a few months ago. This visit, too, will be about as­sess­ing the events with which re­gional ac­tors are closely re­lated,” Davu­to­glu said.

“No one in the Mid­dle East, es­pe­cially Tur­key, should fear an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dish state,” the KRG spokesman, Safin Dizayi, told the Turk­ish daily Hur­riyet.

Al­though it has been re­ported that PM Barzani in­tends to meet with the im­pris­oned Kur­dis­tan Worker Party’s leader, Ab­dul­lah Ocalan, on Im­rali Is­land, Dizayi de­scribed the re­ports as “base­less”.

Tur­key>s For­eign Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu meets with Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani in Ankara July 30, 2013.

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