Official: Iraq bars flight of Turkish Cabinet minister from landing at Kurdish airport

An official says Iraq has banned a plane carrying a Turkish Cabinet minister from landing in the autonomous Kurdish region.

The head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority Nassir Bandar said Turkish Energy Minister Tanir Yildiz's plane was supposed to land in Irbil airport, but it was denied the permission to do so. He cited lack of legal approval.

Relations between Iraq and Turkey have been strained after fugitive Sunni vice president Tariq al-Hashemi took refuge in Turkey following accusations by the Shiite-led government that he was running death squads. Turkish officials rejected Baghdad's request to hand over al-Hashemi, who was tried and convicted in absentia.

The central Baghdad government and Kurds have been involved in disputes over land, power sharing and rights to develop natural resources.