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Iraqi president's visit shows both sides' eagerness to ease tensions
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Talabani told a meeting with Turkish business leaders that Iraq wants "to establish strategic relations in every area including oil, economy, trade, culture and politics." He called on Turkish companies to invest in Iraq.

In addition, analysts said the Iraqi government is eager to seek centralized control over the country's oil resources at a time when the regional administration of northern Iraq has approved several contracts with international companies.

After a meeting with Guler, Iraq's Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said the Iraqi central government is in charge of the administration of natural resources and that "agreements not approved by the central government will not be recognized."

US welcomes Talabani's visit to Turkey

The US Department of State has expressed pleasure over Talabani's two-day visit to Turkey, saying it encourages good-neighborliness and talks between the two nations.

Senior US officials said there was still room for improvement in the timeliness and depth of the dialogue. Washington supports the efforts of the two countries to improve ties and strengthen cooperation through dialogue and hopes that they would work together to resolve the issue of the PKK.

In addition, the US also wants to see an improvement in Turkey's ties with the regional administration of northern Iraq.

According to some observers, Turkey's latest ground offensive, the biggest anti-PKK operation in a decade, had the consent of Washington, which provided intelligence to assist the counter-PKK attack.

Nevertheless, Washington soon exerted pressure for a swift halt to the operation, fearing a prolonged stay could destabilize northern Iraq and harm US ties with Iraqi Kurds.

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