Iraq Status Report - A Biweekly Review of Developments in Iraq, April 14, 2011

Situation Report
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Politics and Diplomacy

In A Visit to Kurdistan, Erdogan Takes Historic Steps: In a historic moment during his visit to Iraq, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erogan travelled to Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Erdogan’s was the first visit by a Turkish Prime Minister to the Kurdish capital. While in Erbil, the Turkish leader met with KRG President Massoud Barzani and attended openings of the regional airport and the new Turkish Consulate. Standing in front of Turkish, Iraqi, and Kurdish flags, Erdogan emphasized Turkey’s historical and cultural bonds with the Kurdistan region, and celebrated the deepening of the region’s economic ties with Turkey. “We consider this to be a very historic moment,” said Barzani. “We believe that this visit will build a very solid bridge in bilateral relations between Iraq and Turkey and between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey in particular.” Erdogan also visited with his Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad and with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf. (NEA-I-IPOG)