Ankara to Barzani: We do not lend support to al-Nusra Front

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Meeting with Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Turkish leaders assured that Turkey was not lending its support to the al-Qaida affiliated al-Nusra Front in Syria, Turkish diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Barzani on July 31, a day after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held a closed-doors meeting with the Kurdish leader.

Turkey and KRG had a common stance and concerns about the recent developments in the region, sources said, adding that Barzani had a similar stance with Turkey regarding the future of Syria.

Iraqi Kurds voiced concerns about al-Nusra Front becoming a powerful force in an area neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan, which could put northern Iraq’s stability in jeopardy, according to Iraqi Kurdish sources.
According to Turkish sources, Ankara did not support any group in Syria, Turkish officials responded when Barzani expressed that Iraqi Kurdish people were frustrated with the al-Nusra Front.

The Kurdish National Conference was another topic of the meeting, at which Barzani presented a similar stance to Turkey regarding the future of Syria, and he gave the message that they did not want any division in the country, Turkish diplomatic sources said. The visit of the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Saleh Muslim, to Turkey over the weekend was also discussed.

Meeting with Minister of Energy Taner Yıldız on July 31, Barzani informed him about a recent law “The Law of Identifying and Obtaining Financial Dues to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq from Federal Revenue” passed in April by the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament.

The legislation forms the legal basis for the settlement of all outstanding financial and budgetary issues between the KRG and Baghdad, and particularly aims to resolve the hydrocarbon resources revenue problem between the two parties.

The law outlines a mechanism for defining and then obtaining the outstanding revenues owed to the KRG by the federal government since 2004. Kurdish officials say that the legislation could pave the way for KRG export oil and gas through Turkey based on contracts between Turkish companies and the Iraqi Kurdish administration, since it corresponds to constitutional requirements on which the Iraqi central government insists.

The construction of a pipeline, a new link to the Turkish border, would be completed by the end of September, Iraqi Kurdish officials said, adding that Ankara was still working to found a company under the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO)

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