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Turkey halts troop deployment to Iraq but will not withdraw: Foreign ministry

Reuters , Tuesday 8 Dec 2015
Cavusoglu
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, August 24, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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Turkey has halted the deployment of troops to northern Iraq for now but will not withdraw those already there, Turkey's foreign ministry said on Tuesday, after Baghdad demanded the withdrawal of soldiers sent to near the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

In a phone conversation with his Iraqi counterpart late on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated Ankara's respect for Iraq's territorial integrity, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic told reporters.

Cavusoglu also told Ibrahim al-Jaafari that Turkey's presence in Mosul aimed to contribute to Iraq's fight against Islamic State. Bilgic said such training would continue in coordination with Iraq.

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