Iraqi PM arrives in Ankara for key talks after Barzani’s call for dialogue
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Ankara on Oct. 25 for talks with high-level Turkish officials, amid calls for “dialogue” with the Baghdad government from the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Al-Abadi is set to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım but no joint press conference is scheduled after the talks.
Although the two countries will review recent developments with regard to the KRG’s independence bid and discuss what joint action can be taken, they will also seek how to improve bilateral relations in the fields of economy, energy and transportation.
The Iraqi prime minister signaled that Baghdad wants to increase the volume of oil it sells to Turkey via an existing pipeline in order to give another blow to the KRG. The two countries will also discuss the transfer of the İbrahim Khalil border gate to the central government from the KRG.
The visit of al-Abadi comes after KRG President Masoud Barzani suggested freezing the results of the Sept. 25 independence referendum and launching talks with Baghdad.
“Why did you insist on this mistake if that would be the point you would arrive at? Why didn’t you listen to Turkey’s advice?” said Prime Minister Yıldırım in a statement early Oct. 25, though Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik described Barzani’s suggestion as a “tactical move.”