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.
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.