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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Iraq PM makes first foreign trip
Iraqi PM Ibrahim Jaafari and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Talks between the prime ministers are said to have been productive
Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has been holding talks in Turkey, on his first official foreign trip since the new government was formed.

Mr Jaafari and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached agreement on security co-operation and increased power supplies, Turkish officials said.

Electricity exports will be more than tripled to provide a fifth of Iraq's supply and help ease ongoing shortages.

Turkey also offered help with military training and security.

Agreement was reached to open a second border crossing.

Mr Erdogan also handed Mr Jaafari a list of names of people - believed to be Kurdish paramilitaries - who Turkey wants extradited for allegedly carrying out attacks.

The physical security of Turkish lorry drivers in Iraq - around 100 of whom have been killed - was also discussed.

In a separate development, the European Union and United States are to sponsor a 25-nation conference on rebuilding Iraq, to be held in Brussels on 22 June.

Pressure

In a news conference with Mr Erdogan after their meeting, Mr Jaafari outlined a number of security measures, including border controls, the monitoring of insurgent groups and persuading neighbouring countries to prevent infiltration by foreign fighters.

He said his government would also soon have talks with another neighbour - Syria.

""There are some armed groups infiltrating from Syria," he said. "We will talk about how much the Syrian government knows about these infiltrations."

"There will be a visit to Syria soon and one of the dossiers will be security."

It is not clear whether Mr Jaafari himself will go to Syria.

On Wednesday Iran said it would tighten security on its border, and denied any role in supporting insurgents.

More than 400 people have been killed in an upsurge in violence in the three weeks since Iraq's new government was unveiled on 28 April.

Diplomatic coup

Although the Turkish government is well used to receiving foreign visitors, there is particular pleasure amongst officials about this one, says the BBC's Jonny Dymond in Ankara.

Not only is it the first visit Mr Jaafari has made since his government was formed, but he is also accompanied by a high-powered ministerial team.

The ministers of finance, oil, water, electricity and industry were all expected to have talks with their Turkish counterparts.

Before the first Gulf War in 1991, Iraq was a major trading partner of Turkey's, but that trade virtually halted during the 1990s.

Turkey had high hopes of a resumption in the aftermath of the US-led invasion. However, the lack of security in Iraq has kept many Turkish firms away from the country.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Why Turkey was the destination of the Iraqi PM's first trip




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