Turkish officials stress stable Iraq needed for effective fight against terrorist PKK
The formation of an Iraqi government is crucial for Turkey, as is the southern neighbor's fight against the terrorist PKK, according to Turkish diplomats speaking during a visit from northern Iraqi officials to Ankara yesterday. Nechirvan Barzani, the deputy chair of Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), visited as part of discussions Turkey is holding with representatives of Iraqi groups to facilitate the formation of a new government. "Turkey isn't discriminating among any groups in Iraq during efforts to set up a new government," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters. Barzani also met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Turkey will continue contributing to the formation of a strong Iraq in which Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Sunnis, Shiites and Christians live in peace and stability, regardless of their origin," Davutoglu told reporters before meeting with Barzani. Welcoming Turkey's call for the establishment of a broad-based government, Barzani added that relations with Turkey are a priority for the northern Iraqi regional administration. He also said he would discuss with Davutoglu economic ties and security arrangements, and particularly a so-called cease-fire from the PKK set to expire next Sunday.