Iraq warns Turkey on sectarian policies
Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki (L) and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani chat in this file photo. Al-Maliki claims Turkey begins to act in favor of one ethnic groups and against another.Turkey has begun to act in favor of one ethnic group and against another, Iraq’s prime minister said, while warning countries, including Turkey, that they will be affected in the future if they follow sectarian policies.
“During my visit to Turkey I conveyed my message to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey has started to act in favor of one ethnic group and against another one,” Nouri al-Maliki told private broadcaster A Haber in an interview. “Any country, including Turkey, which [discriminates based upon] ethnic differences must know that these policies will turn against them.”
Relations between Turkey and Iraq became strained at the end of last year, when the Iraqi government issued a warrant for the arrest of its Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who was then given refuge by Ankara. Last month Baghdad also warned Ankara to stop accepting “illegal” transfers of crude oil from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) or risk damaging bilateral ties. Touching on al-Hashemi’s status, al-Maliki said the issue has now become an international one, because Interpol has issued a red notice for his arrest.
Al-Maliki also urged Ankara to deal directly with Baghdad instead of Arbil. “Turkey can improve its
relations with the Kurdish region
but it should get authorization from the central government,” al-Maliki said. He also said the government had no intention of cutting off relations with Ankara.
Shocked on Kirkuk visit
Commenting on Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s recent visit to Kirkuk, al-Maliki said the Iraqi government was shocked by the trip.
“Everyone is talking about Kirkuk, but this problem can’t be solved by the intervention of a regional power. We established a commission on Davutoğlu’s visit to Kirkuk. He said that he got a visa, as everyone can. But his visit shocked us because we knew nothing about the visit,” al-Maliki said.