Kurdish leader visits Turkey amid tensions

Kurdish leader visits Turkey amid tensions
# 15 July 2014 00:28 (UTC +04:00)

Reports say Barzani arrived in Ankara on Monday and held talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

No official statement has been made by Turkish officials on Barzani's meetings with Turkish leaders.

The visit comes as tensions between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been running high over a range of issues.

The Iraqi government has repeatedly slammed the Kurdistan region for exporting oil without Baghdad’s consent.

Baghdad has recently taken legal action against Turkey for exporting oil from Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region to international markets.

Iraq’s Kurdistan region continues pumping crude oil to neighboring Turkey despite Baghdad’s objection.

Baghdad says oil sales should be overseen by the central government.

Meanwhile, the National Iraqi Alliance (NIA) warns that the enemies of Iraq are using the Kurdistan region to direct sabotage activities throughout the country.

The head of the NIA Ibrahim al-Jaafari also condemned Kurdish authorities for not allowing Iraqis fleeing violence-stricken areas to reach safety through Kurdistan.

Recently, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said the northern region seems to be harboring terrorists. Last week, the KRG seized two major oil fields drawing condemnation from Baghdad.

Al-Maliki said the KRG is burning bridges with Baghdad, which would backlash, as both the militants and Kurdish leadership will eventually lose.