Turkish FM meets Iraqi Kurdish politician for talks on new gov't formation

08:32, October 27, 2010      

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Nechirvan Barzani, deputy chairman of Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), here Tuesday for talks on the delayed formation of a new Iraqi government seven months after March elections in the war-torn country.

Barzani, who arrived in Ankara on Monday, was one of the latest Iraqi politicians hosted by Turkish leaders amid their efforts to facilitate the establishment of a new Iraqi government.

In the past months, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, leader of Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution Ammar al-Hakim and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited Turkey.

"Turkey does not discriminate against any groups in Iraq during its process to set up a new government. Turkey will continue to contribute to the formation of a strong Iraqi government in which Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Sunnis, Shiites and Christians live in peace and order irrespective of their origins," Davutoglu told reporters Tuesday.

"The importance of a new Iraqi government is based on a comprehensive and full cooperation of different ethnic and sectarian groups," Davutoglu said.

He said they would discuss efforts to set up a new government in Iraq along with bilateral economic relations and security cooperation.

Barzani welcomed Turkey's call for establishing a broad-based government in Iraq, saying relations with Turkey had priority for the regional administration of northern Iraq.

Barzani also met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

His visit came amid discussions on a new proposal over the formation of the new government by Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish regional administration in north Iraq, to Maliki .

Al-Maliki has agreed on 18 articles of the 19-article proposal, which presents conditions of Iraqi Kurds to participate in the new Iraqi government, declining the article that says "the Iraqi government falls if Kurds withdraw."

Turkey is keen on the establishment of the new Iraqi government as soon as possible as the lack of authority in Iraq posed challenges for Ankara in its fight against the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK).

About 2,000 PKK members have been deployed in Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, where the Turkish army conducts operations from time to time.

Meanwhile, Turkey also stresses that political stability of Iraq is a must for the stability of the region.

Turkey's relations with the Iraqi Kurdish regional administration have been developing since 2007 and bilateral relations have got to the highest levels since the Iraqi war due to the Turkish investment in the region and the visit of Turkish high-ranking officials to northern Iraq, Bilgay Duman, an expert on Iraq from Center for Middle East Strategic Research told Xinhua Tuesday.

"Turkey has long facilitated the political stability in Iraq and hereafter Ankara would play a more critical role in Iraq's political process because Ankara's role in Iraqi politics balances the impact of Iran on Iraq," he said.

In March, with strong support from Sunni Arab states, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's Iraqia List narrowly beat Maliki's State of Law Coalition in parliamentary elections in Iraq by two seats and it strongly opposed a new government led by al-Maliki.

However, Maliki seems getting closer to gaining a parliament majority to form a new government after he won over religious Shiite faction that once opposed his nomination for the head of the next government.

Source: Xinhua


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