Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has discussed latest regional issues and bilateral commercial relations with Turkish leaders during his latest visit to Ankara, expressing their appreciation of Turkey’s combat against terrorist organisations in the region.
Barzani held meetings with both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday following the KRG President Massoud Barzani’s visit to Turkey about two weeks ago.
Erdogan’s office has released a statement on Dec. 26 following the meeting with Barzani saying that the leaders “have discussed bilateral relations and regional issues, particularly combating against terrorism.”
“During the meeting, [especially] collaboration in the fields of energy, economy, and trade has been taken up,” the statement also announced.
Turkish media has reported that Barzani raised three main issues in the meetings according to the KRG sources.
He has asked to get loans from Turkey and expressed weariness of problems faced at the KRG’s border crossings of Habur and Ibrahim Halil with Turkey which have occasionally been closed due to Turkey's fight against terrorism.
Barzani has also talked over the natural gas pipeline between northern Iraq and Turkey with the Turkish leaders, the sources stated.
In addition, Barzani has informed the Turkish leaders with latest developments on the ground regarding DAESH threat, shifting alliances, and operations of Peshmerga forces in the region.
The high-level visit from the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq came at a time when the Turkish government and Iraq’s central government have been rebuking each other concerning Turkey’s recent military deployment in the Bashiqa town of Iraq’s Mosul province.
Turkish Armed Forces on Dec. 4 deployed around 150 soldiers and 25 tanks to the town of Bashiqa, located in Iraq’s northern province of Mosul, with the claim of replacing the troops that have reportedly been training Peshmerga forces in the region against DAESH since March 2015.
Barzani also shared his latest deliberations with the Baghdad government concerning the political tension between Turkey and Iraq on the status of the Bashiqa camp.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi criticised the deployment, claiming that it had been carried out without Baghdad's approval and asked Turkish government to withdraw its troops from the region.
However, Erdogan said that Turkish soldiers will continue to stay in northern Iraq because they have been stationed there for training purposes at the request of the Iraqi government.
Turkey has recently announced that its military units in the country has been relocated and it will continue to redeploy its forces.