Turkish FM cuts short Baghdad visit for summit on Lebanon
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he would cut short his visit to Baghdad as he would travel to Syria together with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday for a summit meeting aimed at finding a solution to the political crisis in Lebanon, Anadolu agency reported.
Erdogan will join Qatar's Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus for the summit meeting.
"That's why," Davutoglu said, "I will not be able to go to Najaf and Kirkuk that were on my itinerary in Iraq."
Davutoglu, who spoke with reporters at the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday, also gave information about his talks with Iraqi officials. Davutoglu said Turkey welcomed the composition of the new Iraqi government formed last December.
He said his visit was a courtesy call to congratulate the new government and a part of preparations for the second meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council established between Turkey and Iraq in 2008.
Davutoglu had meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
"I hope we will hold the second meeting of the Council in Turkey in next two months," Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said his meetings discussed also regional developments. "We are going through days full of action especially in Lebanon and Tunisia. Of course, Turkey always seeks chances for consultation with its neighbors like Iraq. We exchanged our views in this framework. Formation of a new government in Iraq after a democratic election was a very good news. I hope other countries see healthy governments too", he said.
Davutoglu added that Turkey and Iraq would be very much integrated in the near future, cooperating in almost every field.