Turk envoys in Arbil .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} BAGHDAD - Massoud Barzani, president of the northern Iraqi Kurdish administration, has met with Turkish envoys in the wake of a spate of bombings by Ankara in Iraq's northern region, his office said yesterday.

Barzani and Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Murat Özçelik met in the Kurdish regional capital Arbil to discuss cooperation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a statement from the president's office said.

"This visit came to prepare the ground for further dialogue with regard to the problems between the Kurd region and Turkey and working to solve this problem and tension," said Safin Dizayi, foreign affairs head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK. Turkish negotiators are expected to return to the Kurdish region at a later date, said Dizayi, whose PUK party is led by Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq, without giving details.

The two sides also touched on Iraq's general situation nearly six years after the U.S. invasion, the statement said. Saturday's meeting came after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül in Ankara on December 24 to discuss how to deal with the PKK.

Ankara has sought close relations and economic cooperation with Baghdad but the safe haven the PKK enjoys in remote mountains of neighbouring northern Iraq has cast a shadow on bilateral ties. Turkish warplanes have been pounding terrorist hideouts across the border in northern Iraq since an October 3 attack.