PM's visit to Iraq to see a host of joint projects signed
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met yesterday with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari at UN headquarters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The two discussed the details of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's planned visit next month. Erdogan will reportedly be accompanied by a large delegation of Cabinet ministers during his visit, and officials of the two countries will ink deals for 40 joint projects. Davutoglu and Zebari also discussed Turkey's mediation efforts between Syria and Iraq over several bomb attacks that hit government buildings in Baghdad last month, leaving dozens dead and hundreds injured. Iraq has accused Syria of harboring the perpetrators of the attack, which Syrian denies. Davutoglu also held talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the ongoing normalization process between Turkey and Armenia, the Cyprus issue, cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iran's controversial nuclear program. During the meeting, Davutoglu reportedly briefed Clinton on recent developments in the Turkish-Armenian normalization, while Clinton expressed her country's support for the process. In related news, Davutoglu yesterday addressed a session on Afghanistan at the UN Security Council. Davutoglu said Turkey wants to become a leading voice next year on the council on issues regarding Afghanistan, adding that the biggest aid program in Turkish history is aimed at Afghanistan. Turkey currently holds a temporary seat on the council. He hailed Afghanistan's quest to become "a vibrant democracy," calling on the international community to give strong support to the country. "We need to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan and urge the new Afghan leadership to embrace all sectors of the Afghan people and work bravely for national unity," Davutoglu said. He said Afghanistan also needs a plan for solid economic restructuring, a strong army and a police force, and an appropriate environment for democracy and a modern educational system.