Kurdish leader Barzani, Egypt's Morsi to attend AK Party congress

KRG leader Massoud Barzani reacts during an interview with the Associated Press in Salah al-Din resort, Arbil north of Baghdad on April 25, 2012. (Photo: AP)

September 20, 2012, Thursday/ 12:52:00

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Massoud Barzani and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are expected to attend the upcoming party congress of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

According to the Anatolia news agency, the two leaders are among around 100 global political leaders who are expected to attend the fourth Regular Grand Congress scheduled for Sept. 30. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is also among the expected guests.

According to information obtained from the office of AK Party Deputy Chairman Ömer Çelik, the participant list for the congress has not been finalized. The office told Today's Zaman that it was too early to confirm the participation of Morsi and Barzani.  

Morsi met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Cairo on Monday to discuss the Syrian crisis. Recently, the Egyptian president proposed an initiative to bring together three supporters of the Syrian opposition -- Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- with the Syrian regime's top regional ally, Iran. Egypt has taken a stance similar to Turkey's on the Syrian crisis.

Ankara has also established closer ties with Barzani as it looks to expand business and energy stakes in northern Iraq, a rapprochement that analysts say could help Turkey gain leverage over Syria's Kurds.

Davutoğlu headed to Kirkuk early August after talks in Arbil with Barzani on Turkish concerns about Syrian Kurds. An official visit by the foreign minister to northern Iraq had long been planned as Barzani has already visited Turkey twice this year.

 

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