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Turkey’s Erdogan meets Iraq PM for talks on water, security and trade

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Turkey’s Erdogan meets Iraq PM for talks on water, security and trade

Turkish president says two leaders discussed steps the two countries could take against the PKK armed group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad for talks on security, economic and energy cooperation.

In a joint news conference on Monday, Erdogan said the two leaders discussed steps the two countries could take against the armed group the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and welcomed Iraq’s designation of the PKK as a banned group.

Erdogan said he had shared his strong belief that the PKK’s presence in Iraqi territory would end as soon as possible. The Turkish president said that cooperation on security and the fight against “terrorism” was one of the most important agenda items during his meetings in Iraq.

The PKK, which has fought a decades-long rebellion against the Turkish state and is considered a “terrorist” group by Ankara and its Western allies, has a presence in northern Iraq.

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Since 2019, Turkey has conducted a series of cross-border operations in northern Iraq against the PKK dubbed “Claw”.

Al-Sudani said Turkey and Iraq discussed security cooperation and agreed to deal with the challenge of non-state armed actors that could cooperate with “terrorist” groups.

The two sides signed a strategic framework agreement to oversee security, energy and economic cooperation as well as a 10-year agreement on management of water resources that ensures Iraq will get its fair share, the Iraqi prime minister added.

During Erdogan’s visit, the Turkish president and Iraqi premier also witnessed the signing of a preliminary agreement by related ministers of the countries to cooperate on a $17bn Development Road project.

Erdogan also said in the press conference that Ankara eyes widening mutual trade – and cooperation in energy, health and tourism – with Iraq.

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The Iraqi prime minister said 24 memorandums of understanding were signed during Erdogan’s one-day visit.

“I believe that my visit and agreements just signed will constitute a new turning point in Turkey-Iraq relations,” Erdogan said in the press conference.

Meeting with Rashid

The Turkish leader earlier met with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid in Baghdad. He told Rashid that Turkey “had expectations of Iraq regarding the fight against the terrorist organisation PKK, and that Iraq must be rid of all forms of terrorism”, according to his office.

Erdogan’s trip comes amid soaring regional tensions, fuelled by Israel’s war on Gaza and a confrontation between Israel and Iran.

The Turkish president reiterated his call for all relevant parties to refrain from escalating tensions in the Middle East.

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Bilateral trade between Turkey and Iraq was worth $19.9bn in 2023, down from $24.2bn in 2022, according to official Turkish data.

In the first three months of 2024, Turkish exports to Iraq rose by 24.5 percent, while imports fell by 46.2 percent.

After meetings in Baghdad, Erdogan was set to travel to Erbil, the provincial capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, for talks with Iraqi Kurdish officials with trade and security high on the agenda.

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Clashes erupt between university students and riot police outside Egyptian embassy in Beirut

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Clashes erupt between university students and riot police outside Egyptian embassy in Beirut

Clashes erupted on Monday between pro-Palestinian university students and riot police outside the Egyptian embassy in Beirut. Dozens of university students gathered outside the embassy, holding Palestinian flags and calling on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah border crossing and allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip.

Clashes erupted on Monday between pro-Palestinian university students and riot police outside the Egyptian embassy in Beirut. Dozens of university students gathered outside the embassy, holding Palestinian flags and calling on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah border crossing and allow humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip.


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Israeli excavators discover 2,300-year-old gold ring at City of David site

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Israeli excavators discover 2,300-year-old gold ring at City of David site

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Israeli researchers digging in Jerusalem’s City of David archeological site have uncovered an “exceedingly well-preserved” 2,300-year-old gold ring that is believed to have belonged to a boy or girl that lived in the area during the Hellenistic period. 

The piece of jewelry, which is “made of gold and set with a red precious stone, apparently a garnet,” has “accumulated no rust nor suffered other weathering of time,” the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Monday. 

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“I was sifting earth through the screen and suddenly saw something glitter,” Tehiya Gangate, a City of David excavation team member, said in a statement. “I immediately yelled, ‘I found a ring, I found a ring!’ Within seconds everyone gathered around me, and there was great excitement.”

“This is an emotionally moving find, not the kind you find every day,” she added. “In truth I always wanted to find gold jewelry, and I am very happy this dream came true – literally a week before I went on maternity leave.”   

EXPEDITION TO ‘HOLY GRAIL’ SHIPWRECK FULL OF GOLD, EMERALDS BEGINS IN CARIBBEAN SEA 

The Israel Antiquities Authority says because of the ring’s small diameter, “researchers estimate that it belonged to a boy or girl who lived in Jerusalem during the Hellenistic period.” (Israel Antiquities Authority)

The Israel Antiquities Authority says the ring was “recently found in the joint Israel Antiquities Authority-Tel Aviv University excavation in the City of David, part of the Jerusalem Walls National Park, with the support of the Elad Foundation.” 

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It will be put on display to the public in early June during Jerusalem Day. 

“The ring is very small. It would fit a woman’s pinky, or a young girl or boy’s finger,” the IAA cited Dr. Yiftah Shalev and Riki Zalut Har-Tov, Israel Antiquities Authority Excavation Directors, as saying. 

Tel Aviv University Professor Yuval Gadot and excavator Efrat Bocher added that, “The recently found gold ring joins other ornaments of the early Hellenistic period found in the City of David excavations, including the horned-animal earring and the decorated gold bead.”   

WOMAN OUT FOR A WALK STUMBLES UPON ONCE IN A DECADE DISCOVERY 

Gold ring found at City of David

A researcher poses with the ring after it was found in Jerusalem’s City of David. (Israel Antiquities Authority)

“Whereas in the past we found only a few structures and finds from this era, and thus most scholars assumed Jerusalem was then a small town, limited to the top of the southeastern slope (“City of David”) and with relatively very few resources, these new finds tell a different story: The aggregate of revealed structures now constitute an entire neighborhood,” they said. 

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“They attest to both domestic and public buildings, and that the city extended from the hilltop westward. The character of the buildings – and now of course, the gold finds and other discoveries, display the city’s healthy economy and even its elite status. It certainly seems that the city’s residents were open to the widespread Hellenistic style and influences prevalent also in the eastern Mediterranean Basin,” the researchers added. 

Gold ring discovered in Jerusalem

Those involved with the excavation say the ring helps “paint a new picture of the nature and stature of Jerusalem’s inhabitants in the Early Hellenistic Period.” (Israel Antiquities Authority)

 

The IAA says “Gold jewelry was well-known in the Hellenistic world, from Alexander the Great’s reign onward” as “his conquests helped spread and transport luxury goods and products.” 

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The Take: Why all eyes are on Rafah

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The Take: Why all eyes are on Rafah

Podcast,

The aftermath of a deadly Israeli attack on a tent camp for displaced Palestinians in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah.

Days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its operation in Rafah, Israel hit a tent camp there, killing more than 45 displaced people. As the world condemns the attack, Israel’s war on Gaza continues.

In this episode: 

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  • Akram Al Satarri, freelance journalist
  • Imran Khan, (@ajimran) Al Jazeera senior correspondent

Episode credits:

This episode was produced by David Enders and Khaled Sultan, with Manahil Naveed, Catherine Nouhan and our host Malika Bilal.

It was edited by Amy Walters.

Our sound designer is Alex Roldan. Our lead of audience development and engagement is Aya Elmileik and Adam Abou-Gad is our engagement producer.

Alexandra Locke is The Take’s executive producer. Ney Alvarez is Al Jazeera’s head of audio.

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