Sideline talks in Munich

Sideline talks in Munich

On Friday, top world leaders will meet for what’s become one of the premier international security talk shops: The Munich

Photo: Reuters/Azad Lashkari

Photo: Reuters/Azad Lashkari

On Friday, top world leaders will meet for what’s become one of the premier international security talk shops: The Munich Security Conference.

While the limelight is expected to be dominated by NATO and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, low-key talks will take place on the sidelines. Significantly, Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi will meet with the head of the country’s autonomous Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani.

The meeting will likely focus on Turkey’s meddling in Iraq, which both sides find threatening. Turkish forces have entered both Iraq and Syria, officially to fight ISIS. Unofficially though, President Erdogan wants to prevent the Kurds from controlling a coherent stretch of territory, fearing they’ll try to establish a state and possibly encourage Kurds inside Turkey to do the same.

The conference will also be attended by the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, all of whom have different interests in Syria and Iraq.

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