Senior Turkish diplomat meets Barzani after army strikes in north Iraq

Senior Turkish diplomat meets Barzani after army strikes in north Iraq

Senior Turkish diplomat meets Barzani after army strikes in north Iraq

DHA Photo

A senior Turkish foreign minister has paid a snap visit to Arbil to hold talks with the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq after the Turkish army’s strikes on outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the region. 

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu went to Arbil early July 30 and met with KRG President Masoud Barzani, the Anadolu Agency reported. Sinirlioğlu was also scheduled to meet with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

The visit comes amid the Turkish Air Forces’ continued attacks on PKK targets in northern Iraq. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had a phone conversation with Barzani July 25 right after the strikes began to ease the concerns of the Iraqi Kurdish leader.  

Sinirlioğlu informed Barzani about the reasons behind the strikes and Turkey’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his council of ministers views Turkish airstrikes in his country as “a dangerous escalation and a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.” The Associated Press reported. 

Egypt, meanwhile, said that Syria’s territorial integrity must be preserved - an apparent sign of its disapproval of Turkey’s intervention against militants in Iraq and Syria.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on July 28 that Cairo supported combating what it called terrorist groups in Syria.

But this effort must happen “within the context of preserving the unity and integrity of Syria’s accordance with international legal norms and decisions,” it said.

The Egyptian statement did not elaborate nor mention Turkey.

Political analyst Hassan Abou Taleb of Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies said Egypt’s message was a “condemnation and rejection of Turkey’s unilateral moves.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is fighting an Islamist militancy in the Sinai, has stressed the need to maintain Syria’s unity in the past.

Egypt intervened in Libya in February when it bombed ISIL targets there after the militant group beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians.