Biden, Abadi discuss Turkish troop issue: White House
WASHINGTON - Reuters
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden addresses the attendees during the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben SprichU.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged continued dialogue between Iraq and Turkey to resolve concerns over Turkey’s presence at a training camp in the Bashiqa region in northern Iraq, during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Jan. 21.
“The vice president encouraged continued dialogue between Iraq and Turkey to resolve concerns about Turkish troop deployments in northern Iraq and reiterated U.S. respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House said in a statement about the meeting between the leaders, in Davos.
The leaders also discussed the urgency of mobilizing international support to stabilize the city of Ramadi, which the government recently retook from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, the White House said.
Turkey deployed around 150 troops to the Bashiqa area early December 2015 with the stated aim of training an Iraqi militia to fight ISIL.
The Turkish soldiers’ presence in Iraq recently turned into a row between the two neighboring countries when an additional deployment of Turkish troops to the camp kicked off an angry exchange between the two capitals.
Turkey said on Dec. 14, 2015, that some of its troops had begun leaving as part of reorganization, but al-Abadi’s spokesman said more soldiers would have to be removed before Iraq was satisfied.