Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu visited Kurdistan during the week, where he met with President Masoud Barzani and the KRG Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani to discuss further strengthening relations between Turkey and the KRG; and to attend the Second Sulaimani Forum at the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani (AUIS).
The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his accompanying delegation met with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani in Erbil. The two sides discussed bilateral relations, Iraq’s political and security challenges, including the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iraq, and the Syrian conflict.
The Turkish Foreign Minister was accompanied by the Undersecretary of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Ambassador Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu, the Turkish Ambassador to Iraq, Faruk Qaimaqchi and the Turkish Consul General, Akif Anam.
Both sides stated that they are very pleased with the status of their relations and expressed their willingness to further strengthen political, economic and cultural ties. Foreign Minister Davutoglu described President Barzani’s visit to Diyarbakir in 2013 as very significant and historical. On the planned upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections, President Barzani emphasized that these elections must be held on time and free from any obstacles.
The KRG Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, the Chief of staff to the President, Dr. Fuad Hussein, KRG Minister of the Interior, Karim Sinjari, KRG Minister of Natural Resources Dr. Ashti Hawrami, KRG spokesman, Safeen Dizayee, and Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa were also present during the meeting.
Prior to his meeting with President Barzani and the Prime Minister in Erbil, Foreign Minister Davutoglu visited Sulaimani for the first time, where he participated at the second annual Sulaimani Forum at AUIS and met with a number of officials from different political parties in Sulaimani.
He attended the opening ceremony and first panel of this year’s edition of the Sulaimani Forum where he delivered the start of his speech in Kurdish and spoke about a number of important political issues in the opening Plenary Session which also included the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari and the Chairman of the AUIS and former KRG Prime Minister, Dr. Barham Salih.
This year's Sulaimani Forum in Kurdistan’s cultural capital of Sulaimani was hosted by AUIS in cooperation with the University’s Institute of Regional International Studies (IRIS) for the 4th and 5th of March. The two-day Forum focused on “navigating challenges in the Middle East” and brought together senior politicians, as well as the academic and intellectual society from across the region to discuss complex regional and international issues.