President Erdoğan due to visit Iraq towards end of year

President Erdoğan due to visit Iraq towards end of year

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
President Erdoğan due to visit Iraq towards end of year

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is due to visit Iraq by end of this year, Turkey’s foreign minister said on April 28.

"President Erdogan will visit Iraq to hold the 4th High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting toward end of this year," Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said at a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mohamed Ali al-Hakim in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Çavuşoğlu said the two top diplomats discussed bilateral relations in all its dimensions and exchanged views on regional issues.

The views of two countries on regional issues are overlapping, he added.

Speaking about the Astana process for peace in Syria, he said: "We took a decision to invite Iraq and Lebanon as observer countries."

He said he hopes that Iraq, an important country in the region, would play a constructive role in Syria.

Turkey, Russia, and Iran serve as guarantor states in the Astana peace process.

The Astana process has been successful in bringing a cease-fire in Syria and led to the creation of de-escalation zones.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

On normalization process of Iraq, he underlined the next process should be focused on the reconstruction of Iraq.

"Will use $5 billion pledged for the reconstruction of #Iraq in strategic infrastructure projects in areas destroyed by DEASH [ISIL]," the Turkish foreign minister tweeted.

He said Turkey had closed its Mosul and Basra consulates due to threats posed by the Daesh terror group, but now necessary permissions had been given to reopen the consulates.

Additionally, Turkey wants to open consulates in Iraq's southern city of Najaf and in the northwestern city of Kirkuk.

Çavuşoğlu underlined that the two countries should work together on water management to prevent water crisis in the region.

Turkey will send a special representative to Iraq to share Turkey's experiences on water management.

Also, Çavuşoğlu met Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi at the presidential complex in Baghdad as part of his visit to Iraq.

In a tweet after the meeting, he said trade volume between Turkey and Iraq "will reach the $20-billion target" and the two countries will "fight together to eradicate PKK from Iraq".


Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu,