‘Barzani on same side as Turkey against PKK’, says President’s spokesperson

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with out-of-office President of Kurdistan Regional Government Masoud Barzani.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s out-of-term president Massoud Barzani will be hosted by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his visit to Turkey on Sunday.

The pair are expected to speak about bilateral relations, the situations in both Mosul and Tel Afar, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) activities in Iraq and latest developments in Syria.

Dr. Beyar Doski from the International Relations department at Dohuk’s American University told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, “the terrorism problem will be a priority in the meeting between the two leaders.”

“Barzani and Erdogan will talk about Hashd Shaabi’s activities in Mosul, the PKK’s expansionist policies in Iraq and the threat of the Islamic State (IS) group. The security of the Kurdistan region is very important for Turkey. The protection of Turkish borders by the Kurds is vital for Ankara. Barzani may talk about how they will do this,” Doski said.

The spokesperson of Turkish President Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, said of the meeting, “We have lots to talk about. Iraq is important for us in everyway; economically, in terms of border security and culturally. This dialogue is important to maintain. Because Mr Barzani is on the same side as Turkey both in regards to Daesh and the PKK. The more this collaboration deepens, the more both countries will benefit.”