Iraqi KRG head Barzani en route to Turkey for key talks
REUTERS photoBarzani is expected to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during his visit.
Barzani’s visit will come one day before U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s planned visit to Ankara on Aug. 24.
Biden is expected to discuss with his counterparts issues regarding Syria and the possible extradition of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating the July 15 failed coup attempt.
Barzani’s last visit was in December 2015, when he had received a warm welcome in Ankara for key talks as Turkish jets had bombed outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in Iraq.
Peshmerga forces, which are backed by the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), of which Turkey is also a part, are readying to launch an assault on the jihadist group to take back Mosul.
Barzani’s office released a written statement condemning the terrorist attack at a wedding in the southern province of Gaziantep on Aug. 20, in which 54 people, mostly children, died. Turkey accuses ISIL of carrying out the bombing.