Iraqi KRG head Barzani visits Turkey for high level talks
REUTERS photoKurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani arrived in Ankara on Aug. 23 for a series of key talks, one day before U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s planned visit to the Turkish capital.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu welcomed the autonomus KRG’s leader at the Esenboğa Airport in Ankara.
Barzani was scheduled to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at 6 p.m. and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım at 8 p.m. along with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during the visit.
Barzani’s last visit to Turkey was in December 2015, when he received a warm welcome in Ankara for key talks as Turkish jets 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 preparing to launch an assault on the jihadist group to retake 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, were killed. Turkey accuses ISIL of carrying out the bombing.