FM Davutoğlu chides Iraqi Kurds over Syria security

FM Davutoğlu chides Iraqi Kurds over Syria security

FM Davutoğlu chides Iraqi Kurds over Syria security

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government leader Barzani (R) welcomes Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu (C) and ruling AKP Deputy Chairman Çelik in Arbil. AA photo

Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish officials met yesterday in Arbil to discuss recent developments in northern Syria, which caused concerns in Ankara about the establishment of a potential de facto Kurdish authority in the area.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held meetings with northern Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani and Nechirvan Barzani late Wednesday. The talks were in progress when the Hürriyet Daily News went to print in the late afternoon.

The talks focused on the seizure of control in a number of towns along the Turkish border by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The purpose of Davutoğlu’s visit was to urge Barzani not to support the PYD’s moves in northern Syria which may include increased cooperation with the PKK.

Davutoğlu had earlier described the relations between the PKK and the PYD as “terrorist activity” and warned that Turkey would not tolerate moves that could endanger Turkey’s security.

Ahead of his departure to Arbil, Davutoğlu held a series of meetings with senior government officials including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Erdoğan and Davutoğlu held a lengthy meeting late Tuesday.

In a separate meeting, Davutoğlu met with top intelligence chief Hakan Fidan yesterday. Former Şanlıurfa deputy of the AKP, Haşim Haşimi, who has good ties with Barzani, also participated in the meetings.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Haşimi said he had appealed for the meeting with Davutoğlu in order to discuss the recent developments in northern Syria.