Iraqi Kurds hope Erdoğan will lift ban Sulaymaniyah flights after meeting Iraq president

Iraqi Kurdish authorities hope a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Iraqi President Barham Salih this month will lead to Turkey lifting a more than one-year ban on international flights crossing its airspace to land at Sulaymaniyah, in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

Turkey imposed the ban on flights to Sulaymaniyah in the southeast of Iraqi Kurdistan, and Erbil, in the northwest, in September 2017 after the region voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence in a non-binding referendum. Turkey vehemently opposed the vote fearing it could boost calls for self-rule among its own restive Kurdish population.

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