HomeDiplomatic NewsDiplomacyPresident Erdogan visits Iraq after 13 years

President Erdogan visits Iraq after 13 years

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Baghdad, 22 April 2024 (TDI): Today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Iraq on an official visit after 13 years, with water, oil, and regional security issues expected as a priority on the agenda.

The visit of the Turkish President to neighboring Iraq has been televised and welcomed with state-level protocol by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia Al-Sudani.

A meeting between the two leaders has been scheduled before President Erdogan’s visit to the Kurdistan Region’s capital, Irbil in Iraq.

“Iraq and Turkiye share a history and have similarities, interests, and opportunities, but also problems,” the Iraqi Premier emphasized at the side event of Atlantic Council, recently.

PKK and terrorism

President Erdogan also met with Iraqi President Abdel Latif Rashid in Baghdad.

Turkey has been engaged in a decades-long insurgency with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) in northern Iraq. It has been declared as a terrorist group by Ankara.

“Turkiye had expectations of Iraq regarding the fight against the terrorist organization PKK, and that Iraq must be rid of all forms of terrorism,” the Turkish Premier reiterated.

Farhad Alaaldin, the Iraqi Foreign Affairs adviser hinted that “there will be some sort of agreement.”

He indicated that “perhaps, arrangements to safeguard the borders between Iraq and Turkiye where no attacks and no armed groups infiltrate the border from both sides” will be discussed.

Also Read: Turkey, Iraq negotiate on Northern Oil pipeline rehabilitation

Sharing water resources and energy issues

The Iraqi Foreign Affairs adviser listed that “investments, trade… security aspects of the cooperation between the two countries, water management and water resources,” shall be discussed by the leaders and relevant officials.

He expects the signing of several memoranda of understanding during the visit.

Furthermore, Iraq’s Ambassador to Turkiye, Majid Al-Lajmawi, hopes for “progress on the water and energy issues, and in the process of resuming Iraqi oil exports via Turkiye,” according to a statement published by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

On the other hand, President Erdogan has highlighted the sharing of water resources as “one of the most important points” of his visit.

He has mentioned that “requests” have been made by the Iraqi side. And, “We will make an effort to resolve them that is also their wish.”

The two countries have been facing water resource sharing as a major bone of contention. Further, Baghdad has been critical of upstream dams constructed by Turkiye on shared Tigris and Euphrates rivers due to serious water shortages.

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