Erdogan to tour Iraq, Gulf countries next month
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday announced he will pay a visit to Iraq next month, just after Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. "I will be going to Iraq with a large delegation," Erdogan said yesterday during a meeting with the Turkish Contractors' Union (TMB). Davutoglu is expected to be in Iraq within days to prepare for the visit. Turkey and Iraq recently established a high-level strategic council to seek ways to deepen economic, political, energy and transportation ties. The two countries also want to increase the level of interdependency. Erdogan said he also plans to travel to Qatar and Kuwait on Jan. 9-12, again preceded by Davutoglu. There are still risks for visitors to Iraq, Erdogan said. "But the economy is based on risks," he added. "Entrepreneurship is a risk. But if we take these risks together and take steps accordingly, the future will be very different." Praising Turkish construction companies worldwide for boosting Turkey's entrepreneurial reputation, Erdogan said it is government's job to lay the groundwork for the Turkish private sector to do business abroad. Erdogan also criticized people the lack of vision of "who still do not understand our foreign policy and approaches to regional and global issues," saying, "There are those who do not want to see our commitment to joining the European Union, those who do not want to comprehend our cooperation with the European Union in different geographies, especially in the Middle East."