Turkey-Iraq strategic cooperation council convening in Istanbul
Starting today, Istanbul will be hosting the First Ministerial Meeting of the Turkey-Iraq Strategic Cooperation at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace. The meeting will be co-chaired by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari. Also in attendance will be State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Public Works and Housing Minister Mustafa Demir, Health Minister Recep Akdag, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, and Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu and their Iraqi counterparts. The meeting will focus on planned common projects towards strategic cooperation, and preparations for a Turkey-Iraq Joint Cabinet meeting set to be held next month during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Baghdad visit. In related news, officials from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and the Arab League will hold a meeting in Istanbul today as part of efforts to help reconcile Damascus and Baghdad, which remain at odds due to Iraqi accusations that Syria harbors perpetrators of several recent bomb attacks on government buildings in Baghdad last month. The meeting will bring together Davutoglu, Zebari, their Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem, and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa. Foreign Minister Davutoglu engaged in shuttle diplomacy last week to keep dialogue channels between the two countries open.