Turkish FM meets Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil

<p style="text-align: left;">Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu traveled to Erbil on Monday to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Nechirvan Barzani, the newly-elected president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Cavusoglu was welcomed by Barzani in a ceremony at Erbil Airport. The two officials then held a bilateral meeting.

"Congratulations to @PMBarzani for his election as President of the KRG," Cavusoglu tweeted following the meeting.

According to Anadolu news agency he said Turkey and the KRG should focus on "concrete projects and carry out together our resolute fight against the terrorist organization PKK" in the coming period.

The swearing-in ceremony in Erbil saw high-profile participation of officials from Iraq, including President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi, and several foreign delegates.

Cavusoglu is also expected to meet with Salih and Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Ershad Salihi during his visit to Erbil.

He also met with Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council Masrour Barzani and wished him success in forming the new KRG cabinet on Twitter following their meeting.

He expressed Turkey's desire to expand bilateral trade relations and investments and to cooperate in the fight against terror groups, especially the PKK and its affiliates.

Barzani, who had been serving as regional prime minister, was elected two weeks ago by the regional legislature. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) had nominated ​him for the post in December.

Barzani is the nephew of the previous and only other holder of the office, Masoud Barzani, who stepped down after 12 years as regional president in November 2017, less than a month after helming a referendum on the independence of the region in 2017.

The post had remained vacant since, and the president's powers were divided between the prime minister, parliament and the judiciary in a makeshift arrangement.

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