Turkey, Iraq to discuss Bashiqa camp
BAGHDADTurkey and Iraq will discuss the issue of the Bashiqa military camp, which has Turkish troops, close to Mosul, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Aug. 23.
“Bashiqa wasn’t set to violate Iraq’s border and territorial integrity,” Çavuşoğlu told a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, in Baghdad, adding that the issue was discussed in the ministers’ meetings.
Saying that more than 700 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were neutralized with the help of Turkey’s presence in the camp, Çavuşoğlu noted that Iraq’s “own children” are being trained against the jihadist group.
The minister also said Turkey contributed to the Mosul offensive against ISIL and the base is now fulfilling the duties given by the Iraqi government.
During the joint press conference, Çavuşoğlu said Ankara is aware of the sensitivity the Bashiqa camp creates in Iraq’s internal politics.
“We said, ‘Bashiqa camp’s function, strategy and future will be decided jointly,’ just like it was stressed in a joint declaration released during our Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s visit,” he said, adding that technical talks have been ongoing on the issue.