Turkey's Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, accompanied by a senior official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), has paid a visit to Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani to offer Turkey's condolences on his mother's death.
Şimşek and AK Party Deputy Chairman Abdülkadir Aksu visited Barzani in Arbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, on Saturday, the Anatolia news agency reported. Şimşek and Aksu, both ethnic Kurds, also visited Nechirvan Barzani, deputy chairman of Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), at a mosque where the Barzani family received condolences following the death of Hamael Mahmoud Agha Zebari.
News reports said on Sunday that President Abdullah Gül also has conveyed his condolences to Barzani. Gül expressed his sorrow for Barzani's loss, CNNTürk's website reported.
Barzani's mother died of cancer on July 27. She was 85. A three-day mourning period was observed in the three northern provinces that make up Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region.
US Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey also offered his condolences in a statement to Barzani's family, calling the late Hamael Khan a “historic and nurturing figure.”