Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), who had talks with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara on Tuesday, eased Turkey's concerns over a planned grand Kurdish congress in Arbil and a potential decision to create a united Kurdistan during the conference Today`s Zaman reported.
Diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman that a major issue during the talks was the grand Kurdish conference in Arbil next month that is expected to bring together major Kurdish political groups in the Middle East. Barzani briefed Turkish officials about the conference.
While the Turkish side underlined that they do not adopt a negative stance against Kurds, Ankara noted its sensitivity for the "unalterableness of borders" and international laws.
In response, the Iraqi Kurdish leader assured the Turkish side that they would not go ahead with any entity that might exacerbate Turkey's concerns.
The Iraqi Kurdish leader, who was on a two-day visit to Ankara, also met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.
Turkey has been wary of reports that suggest Kurdish groups might make a call to create a united Kurdistan during the upcoming Kurdish congress.
Observers note that Ankara's recent talks with Syrian Kurds as well as Kurds in other countries of the region are an initiative to prevent a potential alliance that could come out of the Kurdish congress that would be harmful to Turkey. Before Barzani's visit, Saleh Muslim, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria with links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), was in Ankara upon an invitation from Turkey.
During the talks, Barzani and Davutoglu expressed their intention to further improve bilateral ties while also assessing possible fields of cooperation, mainly in energy, a diplomatic source said.
The two leaders also expressed their concerns over the increasing terrorism and violence in Iraq, exchanging views on ways to solve the problem, the official said.
Barzani also met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at his office in Ankara. The meeting, which lasted more than two hours, was closed to the press.
The Syrian crisis and the coup in Egypt were among the other issues discussed.
The senior diplomat told Today's Zaman that Iraqi Kurds are also particularly disturbed by the actions of the Syrian regime.
"It was confirmed that Turkey and the KRG shared a common stance as well as concerns over the developments in Syria and its north," a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website said.
As Syrian Kurds have recently gained ground in the country's north as a result of fierce fighting with al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front, Ankara has been disturbed by the clashes' spillover effects on Turkish provinces on its southern border. Reports said the PYD is preparing to declare autonomy in the north, a move that mounted Ankara's security concerns.
On Wednesday, a news report appeared on the Taraf daily claiming that during talks with the PYD's Muslim last weekend, Ankara promised the Syrian Kurdish party that it would recognize an autonomous region that Kurds will establish in northern Syria.
Diplomatic sources categorically denied these claims.
On Tuesday, Davutoglu commented on Muslim's visit, saying that Ankara asked the PYD not to engage in any unilateral acts in the country's north until an elected parliament is formed. The Turkish foreign minister, however, said Turkey acknowledged Syrian Kurds' need to establish a "civilian administration" in the territories where they are active, just as other opposition groups have.
He warned that such provisional precautions were possible provided that the administration does not gain a "permanent status."
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