Barzani to discuss IS, Kurdish peace process in Turkey’s visit

Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani will visit Turkey on Wednesday Dec. 9 to discuss coordination in the campaign against the Islamic State (IS), as well as the recent rift between Turkey and Iraq over the deployment of Turkish forces on Iraqi soil, Hurriyet daily reported. “We will discuss all the issues in detail, but more time will be spent on what Ankara’s role in the fight against IS will be after NATO and other powers have lent support to Turkey,” said Barzani on Dec. 8 during a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the region’s capital Erbil.
Barzani said “there is an agreement between Baghdad and Ankara about deploying Turkish forces near Mosul,” adding that he thought reactions over the matter were “exaggerated.”

Turkey on Dec. 4 deployed around 150 Turkish troops to replace forces already in the area as part of a training program for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
Along with the troops, 20 to 25 tanks were also dispatched to the area.

Turkish army sources said on Dec. 5 that they had been training fighters in four provinces of northern Iraq with the ultimate aim of fighting IS.
Meanwhile BasNews, a news portal affiliated with Barzani, stated that the region’s president will also discussed in his visit Kurdish peace process between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and latest developments in Syria and the Kurdish regions of the state in particular.