Turkish foreign minister to visit Baghdad, Erbil

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Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is set to visit Baghdad on Wednesday, followed by a visit to the Kurdistan Region’s capital Erbil the day after, and meet with a number of top officials from both the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Spokesperson for the Iraqi foreign ministry Ahmed al-Sahaf told Gav on Sunday that Fidan is scheduled to meet with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, and several other key political figures during his visit to Baghdad.

The Turkish foreign minister is also set to visit Erbil on Thursday, meeting with the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masour Barzani, KRG Spokesperson Peshawa Hawramani confirmed to Gav.

Gav understands that Fidan will also meet with President Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani during his time in Erbil.

The exact purpose of the visit is yet to be revealed, but both Sahaf and Hawramani noted that the Turkish top diplomat will discuss Ankara’s bilateral relations with Baghdad and Erbil, as well as several other topics of shared interest.

Turkey stopped the flow of Kurdish oil through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline since a Paris arbitration court ruling on March 23 ruled in favor of Baghdad against Ankara, saying the latter had breached a 1973 pipeline agreement and allowed the Kurdistan Region to begin independent oil exports in 2014, to the ire of Iraq.

Erbil and Baghdad signed an agreement to resume the Region’s exports in April, but there is still no oil flowing through the pipeline to Turkey over four months later.

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