Turkey, Iraq look to open new border gate

Turkey, Iraq look to open new border gate

BAGHDAD - Anadolu Agency
Turkey, Iraq look to open new border gate

Turkish and Iraqi officials announced plans on Aug. 7 to conduct a joint feasibility study in advance of opening a new border crossing point named Ovaköy between the two neighbors.

In a statement, Qazim al-Akabi, head of Iraq’s committee for border crossings, said he had recently met with Turkish Ambassador to Iraq Fatih Yıldız to discuss the proposal.

According to al-Akabi, the two sides have agreed to dispatch technical experts to the border region sometime next month to conduct a feasibility study.

Officials from both countries hope the new crossing will stimulate cross-border trade between Turkey and the Turkmen-majority areas of northern Iraq.

Following a referendum on independence for the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq held in September 2017 despite warnings from the central government in Iraq, Turkey, Iran and the international community, Ankara and the Baghdad governments launched talks to open a new border gate as an alternative to the Habur-Ibrahim Khalil border crossing point controlled by the KRG.

The planned Ovaköy border crossing point is located 12 kilometers west of Habur.