Turkish officials due at security meeting in Iraq Thursday

AFP , Wednesday 13 Mar 2024

Top Turkish officials including the foreign minister and intelligence chief will attend a security meeting in Iraq on Thursday, a Turkish ministry spokesman said.

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar
FILE PHOTO: Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. AFP


Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Defence Minister Yasar Guler and spy chief Ibrahim Kalin will all attend the meeting in Baghdad, spokesman Oncu Keceli told reporters Wednesday.

Turkey often carries out ground and air operations in northern Iraq against positions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

"Security and military cooperation will be a priority during the talks," said Keceli, adding that joint counter-terror steps would also be discussed.

"We see Iraqi authorities' portrayal of the PKK as a common security threat as a sign that Iraq has started to show the resolve to fight the PKK," the spokesman said.

Over the past 25 years Turkey has operated several dozen military bases in northern Iraq in its war against the PKK, which Ankara and its Western allies consider a "terrorist" group.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would have permanently resolved problems related to the Iraq border "this summer".

Keceli also said he hoped an oil pipeline between Turkey and Iraq that was shut down in March 2023 would reopen "as soon as possible".

The details would be discussed during Erdogan's coming visit to Iraq, he added.

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