FM Çavuşoğlu meets with newly-elected KRG President Barzani in Irbil

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 10.06.2019 12:45
Updated 10.06.2019 17:59
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu traveled to Irbil on Monday to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Nechirvan Barzani, the newly-elected president of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

Çavuşoğlu was welcomed by Barzani in a ceremony at Irbil Airport. The two officials then held a bilateral meeting.

"Congratulations to @PMBarzani for his election as President of the KRG," Çavuşoğlu tweeted following the meeting.

He said Turkey and the KRG should focus on "concrete projects and carry out together our resolute fight against the terrorist organization PKK" in the coming period.

The swearing-in ceremony in Irbil saw high-profile participation of officials from Iraq, including President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi, and several foreign delegates.

Çavuşoğlu also met with Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council Masrour Barzani and wished him success in forming the new KRG cabinet on Twitter following their meeting.

He expressed Turkey's desire to expand bilateral trade relations and investments and to cooperate in the fight against terror groups, especially the PKK and its affiliates.

He later met with Iraqi President Salih, stating after the meeting that Turkey and Iraq pledged to "keep up the momentum gained in our relations" and improve in all areas, particularly economy and security.

Çavuşoğlu also met with Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Ershad Salihi, pledging continued support to "our Turkmen brothers and sisters."

Barzani, who had been serving as regional prime minister, was elected two weeks ago by the regional legislature. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) had nominated ​him for the post in December.

Barzani is the nephew of the previous and only other holder of the office, Masoud Barzani, who stepped down after 12 years as regional president in November 2017, less than a month after helming a referendum on Kurdish independence that backfired and triggered a crisis for Iraq's Kurds.

The post had remained vacant since, and the president's powers were divided between the prime minister, parliament and the judiciary in a makeshift arrangement.

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