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Entries in Nechirvan Barzani (7)


Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests and the Opposition's Next Move

See also Syria Live Coverage: So, Are "Al Qa'eda Terrorists" Winning the Civil War?
Monday's Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Opposition Rejects Morsi's Referendum

2145 GMT: Turkey. Buses belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party have been attacked on their way from Sharqiya to Cairo, injuring six.

Assailants stoned the buses, which were en route to protests supporting President Morsi, forcing them to stop before attacking the passengers.

The Secretary General of the FJP in Sharqiya, Ahmed Shehata, said some passengers chased the attackers until they reached the outskirts of Salam City.

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Iran Snapshot: Why Was Top Military Commander Soleimani in Iraqi Kurdistan?

The Kurdish website has reported a surprising visit by the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, to Iraqi Kurdistan region. Soleimani met officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government, including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, and top members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Soleimani has close ties to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the founder of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who recently visited Talabani in Suleymaniyah after the Kurdish leader helped him survive a no-confidence vote.

Relations between Iran and the KDP have been tense, despite occasional meetings.

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Iraq Feature: The Critical Issue of Succession in Kurdistan (Van Wilgenburg)

Jalal Talabani & Massoud BarzaniIf you wish to understand the future of Kurdish politics and its significant role in the evolution of democracy in Iraq and the Kurdistan region, then an introduction to the question of succession is essential.

This week's case? Jalal Talabani is both the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Iraqi President. According to Kurdistan Tribune, Talabani has been absent from Iraq when he left for a knee operation on 20 June, feeding speculation about his ill health.

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Turkey Live Coverage (7 June): Politics and Pressure over the Kurdistan Talks

1740 GMT: Following the Global Counter- Terrorism Forum, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said regarding Turkey's fight against PKK

With respect to our fight against terrorism, we work very closely together, and in fact, we are learning every week how we can be more closely knit together to cooperate and to support Turkey’s fight against the PKK. I will not discuss potential arms transfers that have not been formally notified to Congress, but I will say that the extensive assistance that we currently provide is going to intensify through closer cooperation and planning, and both the foreign minister and I are committed to making sure both of our governments are as focused and coordinated as we can be going against those that threaten Turkey and Turkish lives.

 I think I’ve said it on every trip to Turkey – the United States stands strongly with Turkey in your fight against the PKK whose long campaign of violence has claimed tens of thousands of lives. 

1535 GMT: Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu criticized the silence of countries who haven’t spoken out against the Assad regime so far and underlined, once again, the significance of an international consensus. He said:

From Turkey’s perspective, there is instability on the border between Turkey and Syria. The Assad regime does not create stability: On the contrary, Assad’s methods destroy the stability in the region. 

The international community should act unanimously to stop the oppression and atrocities.

Turkey will continue its inclusive activities to strengthen the opposition in Syria.

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Turkey Follow-Up: More Questions --- and No Answers --- About the Killing of 34 Civilians

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoganOn Wednesday, I asked about January's Uludere killings, in which 34 civilians died, who gave the order to jets to bomb? And, beyond the death, how does this incident --- and the claim that the "intelligence" behind the attack came from the US --- affect Turkey's relations within the context of its Kurdish problem? 

More questions....

Turkish Armed Forces said that the intelligence --- which apparently to smugglers being wrongly identified as Kurdish insurgents --- was given by "national sources", but when eyes turned to the National Intelligence Service (MIT), it denied that it provided information.

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Turkey Live Coverage (7 May): Kurds and Syrians At The Top of The Agenda

1825 GMT: Two PKK members were killed by Turkish forces in the province of Siirt.

1700 GMT: According to some experts, the new election results in Armenia, Greece and France have pros and cons for Turkey

As Socialist leader François Hollande wins in France, Paris is expected to have a different approach than Sarkozy's on Turkey's EU accession process. However, as Galatasaray University's professor Beril Dedeoglu says, his expectations on democratization, human rights and transparency of Turkey will be higher. In case of strong opposition from Ankara, the bilateral relations are likely to be damaged.

In Greece, many experts do not expect another friction since the economic crisis is likely to be at the top of the agenda. And, in Armenia, the current status quo in relations is likely to be preserved since Sarkasyan won the elections again. 

1620 GMT: Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag says the Presidential system shall be discussed during the new constitution making process.

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Turkey Live Coverage (29 March): Ankara Adjusts Its Line On Syria

1800 GMT: Prime Minister Erdogan's meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has ended. Khamenei underlined the significance of "the support for the resistance against Zionism" and said that "Iran supports reforms" while they "reject any American plan for Syria". The Iranian leader implied that this is the position an "independent" and "Islamic" country shall take.

In addition to the emphasis on "beneficial alliance and cooperation"with Turkey, Ayatollah Khamenei said that they were glad to see their "Muslim brothers in power in Turkey". 

1645 GMT: Prosecutor Hikmet Usta has appealed the ruling in the Hrant Dink murder trial and argued that the investigation must have been expanded although the court had acknowledged the existence of an organization behind the killing. Usta continued:

The court should have requested that the prosecution collect more evidence if it was lacking. The court rejected our requests to expand the investigation, it did not examine documents related to the Ergenekon gang and did not include people in the case who should have been put on trial with the existing suspects.

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