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Turkish PM Davutoglu kicks off coalition-building talks

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pays respects at the grave of the first Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Friday, July 10, 2015. Dvaoutoglu is in Bosnia for a two-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, the worst crime in Europe after the Nazi era, which will take place in Srebrenica on Saturday, July 11, 2015.(AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s prime minister kicked off a first round of talks on forming a coalition government on Monday by meeting Turkey’s secularist party, and said he had “sincere and friendly” discussions with the main rival of his ruling Islamic-rooted party.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Kemal Kilicdaroglu and other leaders of the Republican People’s Party to test the waters for a possible “grand coalition” between the two parties, which together would have an unassailable majority but have deep-seated rivalries.

Davutoglu said the sides reiterated a need for strong government and added that party officials would hold more talks with the secularists to see if they have common ground for an alliance.

“I see that we share a joint wish and understanding for the talks to continue,” Davutoglu told reporters after the meeting.

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