Turkish President Erdoğan meets with Iraqi Prime Minister for talks on water, security and trade | Turkish President Erdogan talks with Iraqi Prime Minister News

The Turkish president said the two leaders discussed measures that both countries could take against the armed group PKK.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad to discuss security, economic and energy cooperation.

President Erdogan said at a joint press conference on Monday that the two leaders discussed measures that both countries could take against the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and welcomed Iraq’s designation of the PKK as a banned group.

President Erdoğan said they shared the strong belief that the presence of the PKK in Iraqi territory would end as soon as possible. The Turkish president said security and cooperation in the fight against “terrorism” were among the most important topics during the talks in Iraq.

The PKK fights a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state, is considered a “terrorist” group by the Turkish government and its Western allies, and is based in northern Iraq.

Since 2019, Turkey has carried out a series of cross-border operations against the PKK, known as “Claws”, in northern Iraq.

Al-Sudani said Turkey and Iraq agreed to discuss security cooperation and address the challenge of non-state armed groups that may collaborate with “terrorist” groups.

The two countries signed a strategic framework agreement overseeing security, energy and economic cooperation, as well as a 10-year agreement on water resource management that will ensure Iraq’s fair share, the Iraqi prime minister added.

During President Erdoğan’s visit, the Turkish President and Iraqi Prime Minister also witnessed the signing of a preliminary agreement by relevant ministers of each country to cooperate on a $17 billion development road project.

President Erdoğan also said at a press conference that the Turkish government is looking at mutual trade with Iraq and expanding cooperation in energy, health and tourism.

The Iraqi prime minister said 24 memorandums of understanding were signed during Erdogan’s one-day visit.

“I believe that my visit and the agreement that has just been signed will be a new turning point in Turkish-Iraqi relations,” Erdoğan said at a press conference.

Meeting with Rashid

The Turkish leader earlier met with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid in Baghdad. He told Rashid that Turkey “looks to Iraq in the fight against the terrorist organization PKK, and Iraq must eliminate all forms of terrorism,” his office said.

President Erdoğan’s visit comes amid rising tensions in the region due to Israel’s war in Gaza and the conflict between Israel and Iran.

The Turkish President once again called on all parties to refrain from escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Bilateral trade between Turkey and Iraq decreased from $24.2 billion in 2022 to $19.9 billion in 2023, according to official Turkish data.

In the first three months of 2024, Turkey’s exports to Iraq increased by 24.5%, while imports decreased by 46.2%.

After the meeting in Baghdad, Erdogan was scheduled to travel to Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, to ​​meet with Iraqi Kurdish officials, with trade and security as top priorities.

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