PM Barzani in Turkey to discuss several issues
KRG and Turkey discussed a number of topics, mainly oil imports, supporting Kurdish forces, Iraqi refugee, and confronting ISIS
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani paid a visit to Turkey on December 19, and met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After a one-and-half hour meeting with Davutoglu in Istanbul, Barzani went to Ankara and was received by Erdoan.
According sources in Ankara, several issues were discussed in the meeting including: the ongoing cooperation regarding the Islamic State’s (ISIS) threats, energy issues, the training of KRG peshmerga forces, cooperation in the field of humanitarian aid for internally displaced people who fled from ISIS and other regional developments.
Due to the ISIS threat, Turkey launched a training program for KRG peshmerga forces in recent months and Foreign Ministry officials announced that 230 peshmerga fighters had been trained by Turkish Spe- cial Forces, known as the "maroon berets." During the meetings, the Turkish and Kurdish prime ministers agreed that the training program would continue for as long as necessary.
In early December, Bagdad and Erbil reached an oil agreement. The agreement is considered the gateway to achieving comprehensive Iraqi reconciliation, but sources have said that the agreement still faces many obstacles and therefore, Turkish and Kurdish parties discussed possible ways to solve these obstacles and Turkey's role as mediator between Erbil and Baghdad.
In addition to oil, carrying Kurdish gas to the Turkish market, which was to start by 2018, was also discussed during the meetings.
There was no press statement regarding the meetings and after the completion of the talks Barzani left Ankara.