Iraqi foreign minister looks to boost ties in Ankara

Iraqi foreign minister looks to boost ties in Ankara

Iraqi foreign minister looks to boost ties in Ankara

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on May 4 met his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari in capital Ankara as part of his official visit to Turkey.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a bilateral meeting at the Foreign Ministry residence, Çavuşoğlu said al-Jaafari is in Turkey to attend the joint economic commission meeting.

Çavuşoğlu and al-Jaafari spoke frequently over the phone and met at many international meetings, the Turkish foreign minister said.

Bilateral issues, regional matters and current situation in Iraq were among topics discussed in previous meetings, Çavuşoğlu said.

“We discussed current issues with al-Jaafari, including cooperation against terrorism and Turkey’s efforts towards reconstruction of Iraq, which includes our pledge of $5 billion. We aim to open the second border crossing and increase bilateral trade,” Çavuşoğlu tweeted later.

Jaafari, for his part, thanked Çavuşoğlu for his hospitality, and emphasized the Turkish foreign minister’s dynamism.

Iraqi foreign minister said he hoped the bilateral meeting would eliminate knots in relations between the two countries.

Çavuşoğlu last visited Baghdad on Jan. 21, when the two foreign ministers vowed to improve bilateral relations in all fields, including the economy, energy and security matters, despite ongoing problems regarding water sharing and the presence of Turkish troops and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq.

That visit made Çavuşoğlu the first senior Turkish official visiting Baghdad after the Iraqi government declared victory against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last December.

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