Iraq's Barzani vows support for Turkey on landmark visit

Barzani has vowed support for Turkey in Ankara's fight against PKK militants as he meets Turkish leaders.

Iraq's Barzani vows support for Turkey on landmark visit

Head of the Kurdish regional administration in Iraq's north Massoud Barzani has vowed support for Turkey in Ankara's fight against PKK militants, sources close to a meeting between Turkish premier and Barzani told semi-state news agency on Thursday.

Sources cited Barzani as telling Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the regional administration would extend any kind of support to Turkey in the cooperation against terrorism.

"We want to maintain good relations with Turkey," AA sources quoted Barzani as telling the Turkish premier during what they described as "a very fruitful" meeting in capital Ankara.

"Support for Turkey"

Head of the Kurdish regional administration in Iraq's north expressed willingness for cooperation with Turkey to move relations further ahead.

"We know that our future lies in maintaining good relations with Turkey. We have many shared values and things to do together," Massoud Barzani told reporters at a joint press appearance with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in the Turkish capital.

Barzani was visiting Ankara for the first time in six years.

The Iraqi Kurdish leader said Turkey was a bridge for Iraq's north to open up to the West as much as Iraq was a gateway for Turkey to reach out to the Gulf region.

Recalling Davutoglu's latest visit to Irbil, Barzani said that it had put relations with Turkey on "a right track."

"And my visit here today in Ankara is a complimentary one to strengthen friendship and brotherhood," Barzani said.

Barzani said he had welcomed Turkish government's "democratic initiative," adding "we are ready to make any kind of cooperation."

"We are saddened by the deaths of young people, no matter they are Turkish or Kurdish. This has to end once and for all. We are in no way in favor of the continuation of violence. We do not separate our security from that of Turkey. We will exert any kind of effort to stop these saddening events," Barzani said in response to a question.

Barzani said they favored a settlement to the issue over Kirkuk in line with the provisions of the Iraqi constitution.

"The way to solve this problem is shown in our constitution and we do seek no other settlement," Barzani said.

"Turkey-Iraq axis"

The Turkish foreign minister defined Turkey-Iraq axis as an important factor for a stable and prosperous Middle East.

Davutoglu said Turkey saw a Turkey-Iraq axis also as a permanent factor for a stable and prosperous Mideast.

"Turkey wants all regional relations and the historical course in its region to normalize," Davutoglu told the press conference.

Davutoglu said, "of course, we will respect our borders, and implement all factors that are the requirements of international law, but we will know that we can build our common future with all the sister nations."

The Turkish minister underlined importance of the timing of the visit which took place in days when the Middle East was being reshaped and friend and sister Iraq was reconstructed.

"We want the reconstruction processes of Middle East and Iraq to build a common future towards peace and stability," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu highlighted importance of Turkey-Iraq relations in the reconstruction process, and said Turkey saw the regional administration in north of Iraq as an important factor in Iraq, and Kurdish people in Iraq as the main elements of the alliance.

The Turkish minister said the Iraqi elections reflected the will of the Iraqi nation, and welcomed ratification of the results of the elections by the Iraqi high court.

"We believe our Iraqi brothers will behave with political prudence for formation of a government reflecting the political will of the Iraqi nation, and Turkey will always stand by its Iraqi brothers and sisters," he said.

Davutoglu said all Iraqi people were Turkey's brothers and Turkey wanted all those groups to build a strong, prosperous and stable Iraq.

"We will establish a world in peace and stability from the Gulf to Europe, from Baghdad to Istanbul," he said.

Davutoglu also said brotherhood established in that region would be an example to the entire world, and Arabs, Turkmens, Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis would live together as the pieces of that common world.

"Full cooperation"

Turkish Foreign Minister said that Turkey expects full cooperation from the Iraqi Kurdish regional administration on fight against terrorism.

Davutoglu said that an exact decision has been made during their meeting.

"As a bridge for our close relations between Turkey and Iraq, a full integration work will be carried out between Turkey and northern Iraq as well," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu also said that a joint energy, trade and transportation strategy would be built, adding Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines was working to start flights to Irbil in the north of Iraq.

Turkish banks Isbank and Ziraat Bank are also willing to open branches in Irbil, Davutoglu said.

However, he stated that terrorism was the major threat to fraternity between the two peoples.

"Vision, peace, security and future cannot be established at a place where terrorism prevails. So, we expect full cooperation from our Iraqi brothers, especially from the Iraqi Kurdish regional administration, on fight against terrorism. We are pleased with recent increasing cooperation," Davutoglu said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2010, 16:51