Iraq PM to visit Turkey, Iran
BAGHDAD - Agence France-Presse
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is to visit Turkey and Iran next week, an official said on Aug. 11.
Abadi “will head to Turkey on Tuesday [Aug. 14] and Iran on Wednesday [Aug. 15] to discuss economic affairs with the two countries,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Iraq is the second-largest importer of Iranian non-hydrocarbon products, buying some $6 billion worth of goods from its eastern neighbour in 2017.
It also buys in Iranian-generated electricity in efforts to deal with chronic power cuts that have been a key factor sparking mass protests in recent weeks.
Abadi last week said Iraq would reluctantly comply with sanctions against Tehran which took effect the same day.
It came after the U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
“We don’t support the sanctions because they are a strategic error, but we will comply with them,” Abadi said.
But it also has strong ties to Tehran, a Shiite powerhouse that is heavily involved in Iraq’s political affairs.
Abadi’s visit to Ankara is also overshadowed by a bitter row between NATO allies Turkey and the U.S.