Turkey to set up strategic dialogue mechanism with Iraq

Turkish Foreign Minister AliBabacan said on Wednesday that Turkey and Iraq wanted to setup a strategic dialogue mechanism, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Turkey to set up strategic dialogue mechanism with Iraq
Babacan made the remarks during a joint press conference with his visiting Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Store.

"Such mechanism would be led by prime ministers of the two countries," said Babacan, adding that "the mechanism will be comprised of several ministers (besides the prime ministers) from the two countries."

He disclosed that a Turkish delegation would visit Iraq soon to discuss the infrastructure of this mechanism with Iraqi officials.

On Monday, Babacan said Turkey has been planning to intensify its relationship with northern Iraq's largely autonomous regional Kurdish administration via various contacts at different levels inthe near future.

After having refused for several years to have dialogue with the Iraqi Kurdish groups over suspicions that they support the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), Turkey's top political leaders and military commanders last week were given the green light for talks with Iraqi Kurds.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdish administration, has a long history of angering Ankara with remarks seen as implicit support for the PKK.

He has considerably softened his usually harsh tone when describing the relations with Turkey in recent speeches, particularly after a landmark visit to Turkey by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in early March.

Meanwhile, Iraq's Vice-President Tariq Al Hashimi is set to arrive in Ankara on Wednesday. Al-Hashimi will meet Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on bilateral relations, the PKK issue and regional developments.

Sunni Arab Iraqi politician Ayad al-Samarrai, chairman of the Iraqi Accordance Front, will accompany Al-Hashimi during his three-day visit.

Agencies
Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2008, 13:40
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