PM Barzani, Turkish defense chief stress mutual cooperation

Barzani reiterated his government’s willingness to develop bilateral ties on good neighborliness and mutual interest, it added.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (top right) during his meeting with the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (top right) during his meeting with the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Turkish Minister of National Defense Yaşar Güler on Wednesday stressed cooperation between the two nations for the sake of maintaining stability and security in Iraq and its Kurdish region, according to a press release.

Barzani received the Turkish minister along with his delegation, including Chief of the Turkish General Staff Metin Gürak.

The premier stressed maintaining cooperation and coordination to safeguard security and stability in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and the wider region, according to a press release shared by Barzani’s office.

Minister Güler expressed his condolences to the Jan. 15 Iranian missile attacks on Erbil, saying the deadly attacks are “unjustifiable", the press release added. 

Barzani reiterated his government’s willingness to develop bilateral ties with Turkey on the principles of "good neighborliness and mutual interest", it added.

The Kurdistan Region remains a “factor of stability” and will not be a source of threat for its neighbors, Barzani told the minister.

They stressed the importance of implementing the Sinjar Agreement as well as the return of internally displaced Yezidis to their areas of origin.

Accompanied by Chief of the Turkish General Staff Metin Gürak, the defense chief arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday and met with the Iraqi top officials.

The defense minister is expected to meet with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani in Erbil following his meeting with the premier, Kurdistan24 has learned.

Border security issues between Iraq and Turkey have taken center stage in the meetings Güler had in Baghdad.

Read More: PM Barzani receives Turkish defense minister

Turkey and Iraq have had rocky relations in the past decades, largely due to the presence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been fighting Ankara since the mid-1980s.

Kurdistan Region officials regularly call on Baghdad, officially in charge of border security affairs, to prevent the insurgents and foreign militaries from engaging in hostilities within its territory. Officials have voiced concerns about increased militia forces presence in the area.

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) shaking hands with the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) shaking hands with the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (left) greeting the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (left) greeting the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) during his meeting with the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) during his meeting with the Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler in Erbil, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: KRG)