‘Turkey’s Iraq policy based on territorial integrity’

Baku, January 3, AZERTAC

Securing Iraq's political unity and territorial integrity as well as ensuring its stability and security are the basis of Turkey's policy on Iraq, the Turkish president said on Thursday, according to Anadolu Agency.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih in Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Iraq standing on its own two feet is very important for regional security and stability.

Erdogan said terror groups like Daesh, the PKK, and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) pose threats to both Turkey and Iraq, and the two countries should cooperate in fighting terror.

He said Iraq had triumphed in its fight with Daesh, but at a heavy cost, as thousands of Iraqis were martyred and Daesh razed culture and civilization to the ground.

"Turkey gave firm support to Iraq for that tough fight," Erdogan said.

"We are ready to contribute to infrastructure and development projects in Iraq -- reconstruction of places harmed by conflicts being the priority," Erdogan said.

Turkey wants to boost security cooperation with Iraq, Erdogan said, adding: "There's a lot we can do with Iraq in the defense industry."

He said Turkey’s biggest expectation from the new Iraqi government is ensuring the welfare and well-being of all Iraqis.

Erdogan said in 2013 Turkey and Iraq hit a bilateral trade volume of $16 billion, a record level, but they could reach that level again and even get as high as $20 billion.

He added that this year Turkey and Iraq will continue holding High-Level Strategic Council meetings.

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