FM Davutoğlu meets with Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi

FM Davutoğlu meets with Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
FM Davutoğlu meets with Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi

Ayad Allawi. AP Photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met Aug. 3 with the chairman of the Iraqiya bloc, Ayad Allawi, amid strain between Ankara and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The political crisis in Iraq was expected to be the hot topic at the meeting, which was still going on when the Daily News went to press.

Allawi, a Shia like al-Maliki and the Iraqi prime minister’s political rival, has the majority of the country’s Sunni parties behind him. The bloc Allawi leads holds one seat more in Parliament than al-Maliki’s party, yet Allawi was unable to build a majority coalition to form a government.

The struggle between the two leaders continues because key ministries, such as the Defense Ministry, were reserved for Allawi’s bloc according the coalition agreement al-Maliki made two years ago, but the agreement has never materialized.

Allawi and Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric, together with Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, have jointly told al-Maliki to reform or leave office.

Turkey’s relations with al-Maliki have become further strained after a Turkish residence permit was issued last week to Iraq’s fugitive Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, ostensibly for medical reasons. The meeting between Davutoğlu and Allawi was closed to the press.