Turkey warns United States of sectarian clash in Iraq

Turkey warns United States of sectarian clash in Iraq

Turkey warns United States of sectarian clash in Iraq

US Vice President Biden (L) met with Turkish PM Erdoğan in December. The two discuss regional issues including the Iraqi crisis in a recent phone call. AFP photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden discussed the turmoil in Iraq in a phone call late Jan. 5. Erdoğan warned efforts expended so far to protect Iraq’s territorial integrity and stability would become meaningless if Iraq drifted away from democratic culture.

The White House said regional issues including political developments in Iraq had been discussed in the phone conversation between Biden and Erdoğan.

“Following up on their conversation during the vice president’s trip to Turkey in December, the two leaders agreed on the need to advance security, support the rule of law and encourage democracy in the region. They agreed our two governments would remain in regular contact on these issues,” diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News.

Following the phone conversation, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone yesterday. The Iraqi issue, which was discussed during the phone conversation between Erdoğan and Biden, was on the meeting’s agenda.

In a visit to Turkey last December, Biden met with Turkey’s premier and discussed possible developments in Iraq after withdrawal of the U.S. As Ankara warned Biden over a power vacuum in Iraq, the U.S. side guaranteed political stability in the meeting, diplomatic sources said.

Turkey is concerned over the developments in Iraqi politics, however, after U.S. withdrawal as its neighboring country faces a sectarian clash. Ankara urges Washington to refrain from indulging the Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.