HOSHYAR ZEBARI, Iraqi foreign minister
Idea: Lower the walls in the Middle East
Mr. Zebari would like to see more economic integration to build confidence in a region where the biggest problem, in his view, is the lack of trust between countries and sectarian groups.
"For the region there should be more economic integration – gas, oil, electricity, railroads, airports. This is what everyone aspires to. In the North, despite Kurdish-Turkish tension, there are apparently 600 registered Turkish companies in Arbil and about 15,000 Turkish workers. It has really changed the perception – it has changed the tension, it has changed the [relationship]. There is still a problem with the presence of the PKK [Kurdish Workers' Party, a rebel group], still there is a problem with some Turkish ideas, with their role throughout the region and so on, but economic interests open up the vein of relations – I think it needs more."