Turkish parliamentary head praises Iraqi ties

Turkish parliamentary head praises Iraqi ties

BAGHDAD - Anadolu Agency
Turkish parliamentary head praises Iraqi ties

Çiçek (L) speaks to al-Nujaifi (R) speak during their meeting in Iraq. AA photo

Turkey’s Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek attended a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Osama al-Nujaifi where he said Turkey and Iraq, with many reasons for better relations, were “two key countries of the region.”

“Turkey and Iraq are two sister countries, friends and neighborhoods. For that, they are two key countries of the region. The region which we share together is now going through very troubling, dramatic times. So it is to the benefit of both countries to exchange ideas and to be in cooperation in dealing with the regional matters at hand,” Çiçek said.

The Parliaments, Çiçek added, had a great responsibility and duty in improving bilateral ties, underlining again that both countries had enough reasons and opportunities to work towards expanding relations in various fields.

“We, as Turkey, take all Iraqi citizens as our own brothers and will attempt to build relations on the basis of that brotherhood,” Çiçek said.

Meanwhile, Iraqi parliamentary speaker al-Nujaifi said the two officials discussed bilateral ties and regional concerns during their meeting, including the ongoing conflict in Syria, while adding a commission was to be formed to work towards improving ties. While saying that Syria was the top subject for the stability of the region, al-Nujaifi said he spoke to Çiçek about the recent Iran nuclear deal as well.

Turkey and Iraq have been trying to salvage bilateral ties since the countries had a falling out over Turkey’s energy deals with the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan. Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is expected to visit Ankara later this week to finalize deals.

Just weeks ago, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visited Baghdad, where he met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Hosyhar Zebari along with other high-level Iraqi officials.