Saturday, March 15, 2014

New bridge to link Turkey and Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government

Turkey and Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government have agreed to enable more movement between their shared border by building a new bridge and opening five more border gates, Turkey's foreign minister announced Saturday.

Ahmet Davutoglu and Kurdish region's Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani held a press conference after their meeting in Turkey's eastern province of Van.

They plan to build a third bridge at the Habur border gate, between Turkey and Iraq, to soothe congestion on the borders. Three thousand vehicles pass through Habur every day and it is not able to meet demands for trade between Iraq and Turkey, which is now worth US$12 billion every year.

"We have agreed on taking practical steps to building a third bridge in Habur and opening Aktepe, Ovakoy, Gulyazi, Uzumlu and Derecik border gates," said Davutoglu.

He said Barzani's frequent visits to Turkey have "helped overcome psychological steps."

"Compared to the last ten years, we are experiencing a psychological revolution," he said. "Psychological walls built between Turkey, Iraq and the Arabs for years are being pulled down now."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Barzani said his visit to Turkey would further enhance relations between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government.

Barzani will also have a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey's capital Ankara on Saturday.

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