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Turkey opens dialogue with Iraqi, Syrian Kurds

July 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, July 30 (UPI) -- Kurdish leaders in northern Syria and Iraq are meeting with the Turkish government to hash out a plan for dealing with ongoing violence in the region.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Nechirvan Barzani traveled to Ankara Tuesday to meet with Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Today's Zaman reported. The two planned to discuss ongoing hostilities between ethnic Kurds in northern Iraq and Turkish forces along the border -- a long-simmering source of tension and violence.

The Turkish government and ethnic Kurdish leaders have sought to resolve the dispute peacefully in recent months.

Barzani's visit comes just after Davutoglu hosted a top official in the Syrian Kurdish community to discuss that nation's two-year civil war. Kurds control much of northern Syria and Turkish officials have asked Kurds not to cooperate with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

Saleh Muslim, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, visited Ankara where officials sought assurances the group would not collude with Assad or Kurdish elements the Turkish government considers terrorist organizations.

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