Iraq’s Sunni leaders Halbousi, Khanjar meet Turkish President Erdogan

The Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency described it as “closed-door”.
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (second right) along with Iraqi Sunni leaders Khamis al-Khanjar (right) and Mohammad al-Halbousi (second left) along with spy chief, Hakan Fidan (first left), Feb. 27, 2022. (Photo: Turkish presidency)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (second right) along with Iraqi Sunni leaders Khamis al-Khanjar (right) and Mohammad al-Halbousi (second left) along with spy chief, Hakan Fidan (first left), Feb. 27, 2022. (Photo: Turkish presidency)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Top Iraqi Sunni leaders Mohamed Al-Halbousi and Khamis Al-Khanjar met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey on Saturday to discuss facilitating visas for their country’s citizens, according to a statement. 

In addition to discussing the bilateral cooperation between the two neighboring countries “in all fields”, the officials discussed “facilitating [Turkish] visa procedures” for Iraqi citizens, according to a statement from Halbousi’s press office. 

The meeting was also attended by Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT). 

The Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency described it as “closed-door”.

In early January, Halbousi was re-elected as Speaker of Parliament, making him the first politician to assume the position twice since the former Baathist regime was toppled in 2003

Khanjar is the head of the Siyada (Sovereignty) Alliance. Halbousi’s Taqadum (Progress) Coalition is part of that alliance, the largest Sunni bloc in the Iraqi Parliament. 

The Sunnis are in alliance with Muqtada al-Sadr’s coalition and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The coalition calls for a “majority government” instead of another consensus-based government. 

Iraq still hasn’t formed a government months after the Oct. 10, 2021, parliamentary election.