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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Erbil, Ankara ready to deepen economic ties

By Rudaw 14/3/2019
Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal (left) met with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Thursday. Photo: KRG/handout
Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal (left) met with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Thursday. Photo: KRG/handout
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Region is ready to deepen its economic ties with Turkey, the Kurdistan Region’s prime minister said in a meeting with a visiting official from Ankara. This will start with increased air connections, set to begin on the Newroz holiday.

Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal headed a delegation to the Kurdistan Region and met with Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Thursday. 

The Turkish delegation “expressed their country’s readiness to further develop relations in all fields, typically economy and trade,” read a statement from Barzani’s office.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) wants their relations strengthened in these sectors as well, Barzani said.

Turkey is the Kurdistan Region's largest trade partner. A large volume of Turkish goods destined for Iraq also transits through the Kurdistan Region.  

The delegation from Ankara has been in Iraq for three days, meeting with Iraqi and Kurdish officials, including security figures. They met Iraq’s National Security Advisor Falih al-Fayyadh and Masrour Barzani, chancellor of Kurdistan Region’s Security Council.

Chancellor Barzani “urged Deputy Minister Onal to play a stronger role in reconstruction in areas cleared from ISIS,” according to a readout from his office on Wednesday.

In February, Ankara announced it was making $5 billion in loans available for Turkish businesses working in Iraq to help fund reconstruction. Turkey wants to boost its trade ties and investments with its southern neighbour. 

Turkish Ambassador to Iraq Fatih Yildiz tweeted on Wednesday that Onal “had talked about our vision for the development of relations with Iraq.”

Onal also met with Deputy KRG Prime Minister Qubad Talabani. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has not issued a statement on his trip. 

Ambassador Yildiz also announced a new direct flight between Erbil and the city of Gaziantep in Turkey’s southeastern Kurdish region. Anadolu Jet will commence the thrice-weekly service on March 21. 

Anadolu Jet is a regional airline owned by Turkish Airlines and operating domestic flights between Turkish provinces as well as to northern Cyprus. This is the first time the airline operates flights to the Kurdistan Region.

Erbil International Airport currently lists three Turkish destinations with direct flights – the capital Ankara, Istanbul, and popular tourist site Antalya.

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Hama | 15/3/2019
Good. As our most important neighbor and our ONLY access point to the international market, it is important that KRG continues to build strong economic relations with Turkey. Our autonomy and independence from Iraq relies ENTIRELY on this. Without economic independence, national independence is impossible and we'll be forced to surrender to Baghdad and other Iranian proxies who will destroy our cities like they destroyed Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu and other Kurdish areas. MORE, MORE AND MORE economic relations with/through Turkey thank you.
kurt basar | 15/3/2019
Unfortunately the Kurd's of the Berjer have a very short memory and surrendering themselves to the archenemies of the Kurd's again. It was the same Salafi Turkish leader, who is enemy of the Kurd's & leader of the Muslim brotherhood, who is recruited the Iranians & Iraqis and collaborated with them for to stop Kurdish Independence movement. You have to wonder, if the Kurd's are ever going to learn anything from their past history? or they continue submitting themselves to their oppressors.
German Boy | 15/3/2019
Trust a donkey to become a philosopher , but dont trust Turkey to be a faithful friend they are the same people who committed genocide against the Armenian
Kurd | 15/3/2019
Absolute joke!! well said Kurt and German boy!! We are forced into this relationship, because of our insistence on worshipping arabs and turks alike, Iraq is our window into the rest of the world not turkey u dumb ignorant no knowledge dick head, we can separate from Iraq and still do trade, Iraq needs us as much as we need them, now go read up on history before u make stupid uninformed comments !! Besides we should be making more efforts on consolidating our lands with Rojava, that way we wont need any shitty arab or Turkish country to be able to access the world. BIJI KURD W KURDISTAN!!
Ibo | 15/3/2019
What a terrible idea. The United States is killing the Turkish lira and it’s economy because Erdogan did not embrace the federal system for Bakuri Kurdistan. Instead, Turkey has jumped into the Russian “lap” as the Kurdish proverb goes and is swaying away from the West. KRG should not deepen and type of relationship with Turkey or Iran. They are both a target for US now. It’s like dealing with North Korea. Come on!!
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