Iraqi Kurdish leaders running northern Iraq are expected to arrive in Ankara

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07 / 09 / 2004 — Iraqi Kurdish leaders running northern Iraq are expected to arrive in Ankara for talks with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Ministry bureaucrats amid growing tension between Kurds and non - Kurdish residents of the oil - rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkukas well as security threats facing Turkish businessmen in the country.

Senior Kurdistan Democratic Party ( KDP ) official Nechirvan Barzani will arrive today during a stopover and hold talks at the Foreign Ministry, sources said. It was not clear where he will be heading after his talks in Ankara.

Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan ( PUK ), is expected in Ankara on Wednesday.

The request for a meeting came from the Kurdish leaders.

Their visit comes as tension in Kirkuk has been rising over disputed claims of control in the city. Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens -- the third biggest ethnic community in Iraq with close ethnic ties to Turkey, are all pushing for a share in control of the city.

Kurds say they are in the majority and Turkmens claim they are the indigenous inhabitants in the city.

Another issue likely to be taken are the attacks facing Turkish drivers and workers operating in Iraq. Ankara has drafted a series of security measures for safe trade in Iraq and are discussing them with Iraqi and U.S. authorities.

Issues concerning passages through the Habur border gate will be on the agenda of the talks, private NTV television said. Ankara will express its unease over taxes that Turkish drivers are forced to pay to Kurdish authorities at the gate, NTV said.



Source: TDN









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