Turkish Foreign Minister visits Kurdistan to boost mutual relations
Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, visited Kurdistan on 4 March where he met with President Massoud Barzani and the KRG Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, to discuss further strengthening relations between Turkey and the KRG. The Turkish official also attended the Second Suleimaniya Forum at the American University of Iraq – Suleimaniya (AUIS).
The Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, and his delegation met with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, in Erbil. The two sides discussed bilateral relations, Iraq’s political and security challenges, including the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iraq, and the Syrian conflict. The Turkish Foreign Minister was accompanied by the Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu, the Turkish Ambassador to Iraq, Faruk Qaimaqchi, and the Turkish Consul General, Akif Anam.
Both sides stated that they are very pleased with the status of their relations and expressed their willingness to further strengthen political, economic and cultural ties. Foreign Minister Davutoglu described President Barzani’s visit to Diyarbakir in 2013 as very significant and historic. On the planned upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections, President Barzani emphasized that these elections must be held on time and free of obstacles.
KRG Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, the Chief of Staff to the President, Dr. Fuad Hussein, KRG Minister of the Interior, Karim Sinjari, KRG Minister of Natural Resources, Dr. Ashti Hawrami, KRG spokesman, Safeen Dizayee, and Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, were also present at the meeting.
Prior to his meeting with President Barzani and the Prime Minister in Erbil, Foreign Minister Davutoglu visited Suleimaniya for the first time, where he participated in the second annual Suleimaniya Forum at AUIS and met with a number of officials from different political parties.
He attended the opening ceremony and first panel of this year’s edition of the Suleimaniya Forum where he delivered the start of his speech in Kurdish and spoke about a number of important political issues in the opening Plenary Session which also included the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari and the Chairman of the AUIS and former KRG Prime Minis- ter, Dr. Barham Salih.
This year>s Suleimaniya Forum in Kurdistan’s cultural capital, Suleimaniya, was hosted by the AUIS in cooperation with the University’s Institute of Regional International Studies (IRIS) on March 4-5. The two-day forum focused on “navigating challenges in the Middle East” and brought together senior politicians, academics and intellectuals from across the region to discuss complex regional and international issues.