Barzani and Er­do­gan dis­cuss bi­lat­eral re­la­tions

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani met with his Turk­ish coun­ter­part, Re­cep Teyyib Er­do­gan, in Is­tan­bul on Thurs­day 31 Oc­to­ber, 2013.

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

PM Barzani vis­ited Is­tan­bul ac­com­pa­nied by a high-rank­ing KRG del­e­ga­tion. They were re­ceived by Tur­key’s Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs, Ah­met Davu­doglu, and met the Prime Min­is­ter in his Is­tan­bul of­fice in Dolma Bahce.

PM Barzani vis­ited Is­tan­bul ac­com­pa­nied by a high­rank­ing KRG del­e­ga­tion. They were re­ceived by Tur­key’s Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs, Ah­met Davu­doglu, and met the Prime Min­is­ter in his Is­tan­bul of­fice in Dolma Bahce.

The hot topics dis­cussed at the meet­ings in­cluded the gen­eral po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, bi­lat­eral ties be­tween the two par­ties, Iraqi-Turk­ish re­la­tions, eco­nomic and trade ac­tiv­i­ties be­tween the two coun­tries, the en­ergy is­sue and the se­cu­rity chal­lenges fac­ing the re­gion as a whole.

Both the Turk­ish PM and For­eign Min­is­ter ex­pressed their hap­pi­ness at the suc­cess of Septem­ber’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and con­grat­u­lated the Kur­dis­tan on its smooth demo­cratic process.

The Turk­ish of­fi­cials also ex­pressed their con­cern at the re­cent at­tacks on the Re­gion’s se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions in Er­bil, re­it­er­at­ing Tur­key’s will­ing­ness to pro­vide sup­port in this re­gard.

Other topics in­cluded the re­cent de­vel­op­ments in Iraqi-Turk­ish bi­lat­eral ties: the visit of the Speaker of the Iraqi Par­lia­ment and For­eign Min­is­ter to Ankara, the ex­pected visit of Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter to Bagh­dad, and a po­ten­tial visit by the Iraqi PM to Ankara.

The Turk­ish PM and For­eign Min­is­ter stated that, as neigh­bors, they think they should have good re­la­tion­ships with Iraq, and re­it­er­ated that they value their ties with the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and will con­tinue to work at im­prov­ing them.

The Kur­dish PM thanked his Turk­ish coun­ter­part for the in­vi­ta­tion and said it was very well timed, since there is cur­rently a lot of diplo­matic traf­fic in Tur­key and it is im­por­tant to share opin­ions in all th­ese re­gards. More­over, PM Barzani ex­pressed his hap­pi­ness at the ini­tia­tives for im­prov­ing ties be­tween Bagh­dad and Ankara on the ba­sis of mu­tual re­spect and in­ter­ests. He added that Er­bil-Ankara ties should also be im­proved.

The talks in­cluded the eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions be­tween the two par­ties and their in­ter­est in ex­pand­ing the Ibrahim Khalil Bor­der Point, the only of­fi­cial ter­ri­to­rial bor­der point be­tween the two coun­tries. They also dis­cussed the is­sue of open­ing other bor­der points, a sub­ject which has al­ready been dis­cussed be­tween Ankara and Bagh­dad.

The en­ergy dossier is also grow­ing ahead of the ex­ten­sion of the oil pipe­line be­tween Kur­dis­tan and Tur­key, which is due to be com­pleted in the near fu­ture. The project is con­sid­ered to be of con­sid­er­able strate­gic im­por­tance, since it con­nects Kur­dis­tan’s oil in­dus­try to world mar­kets.

The Kurds ar­gue that the com­ple­tion of this project will ben­e­fit the whole of Iraq, since the rev­enues from oil sales will be shared with all Iraqis in ac­cor­dance with the coun­try’s per­ma­nent con­sti­tu­tion.

Another topic dis­cussed at the Is­tan­bul meet­ings were the de­vel­op­ments in Syria and the Mid­dle East in gen­eral. Both par­ties agreed that all th­ese is­sues and ten­sions should be re­solved in a peace­ful way.

The KRG del­e­ga­tion, headed by PM Barzani, in­cluded Imad Ahmed, the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter; Dr. Fuad Hus­sein, Party Chief in the Re­gion’s Pres­i­dency Of­fice; Dr. Ashti Hawrami, Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources, and Safin Diza­yee, the KRG’s of­fi­cial spokesper­son.

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