Turkey in Iraq’s Bashiqa out of necessity: PM Yildirim

Baku, January 8 AZERTAC

Turkey is in Iraq’s Bashiqa out of necessity, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told his Iraqi counterpart Haidar al-Abadi during his visit to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, according to Anadolu Agency.

Yildirim is on an official visit to discuss regional issues, including bilateral cooperation against terrorism. He arrived at the Baghdad International Airport along with a high-level delegation.

A closed to the press meeting was later held between Yildirim and al-Abadi.

In remarks made after the meeting, Yildirim said: “Your recent statement stating that ‘we will not allow the PKK to threaten Turkey from Iraqi territories’ is of great importance to us.”

He said al-Ibadi's statement showed what the two countries could do together while fighting against terrorism.

"We will continue our cooperation with Iraq against all threats from Iraq, not only Sinjar," Yildirim said.

Turkey has a longstanding military training mission at Camp Bashiqa, where Turkish soldiers have trained both Peshmerga fighters and local tribal volunteers in combat techniques.

In recent months, the mission’s presence in Mosul in northern Iraq has led to tension between Baghdad and Ankara amid calls by some Iraqi lawmakers for Turkish troops to withdraw.

The Turkish premier is expected to later meet President Fuad Masum and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. Regional stability and security are on top of the premier’s agenda during the visit. Steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation and counter terrorist groups such as the PKK, Daesh and FETO are expected to be discussed.

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