Barzani gets warm welcome in Ankara

Massoud Barzani, the leader of Iraqi Kurdish Region, received a warm welcome in Ankara for key talks. Barzaniís first stop in Ankara was the headquarters of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). Feridun Sinirlioglu, the undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, welcomed the Kurdish leader at Esenboga Airport. A Kurdish flag was on the table during the meeting, along with the Turkish and the Iraqi flags, a rare implementation in the mutual meetings, Hurriyet daily reported.

However, the three flags were observed in previous visits by the Turkish authorities to the Kurdish capital of Erbil. Barzani was also scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Before moving to Turkey, Barzani hosted the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) commander Lloyd Austin near Erbil. Tensions have recently escalated between Turkey and Iraq, as the central Iraqi government has slammed the recent of additional Turkish troops to the camp, vowing to take its case to the United Nations if Turkey did not withdraw.