Turkish Prime Minister visits Iraq to discuss regional issues

Orient Net - Agencies 2017-01-07 16:30:00

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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim met Saturday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the start of a visit to discuss regional issues and bilateral relations. 

The two leaders chaired a meeting that included defense ministers, intelligence chiefs and other high level officials from the two countries. 

In a press conference after the meeting, al-Abadi said the two sides reached an agreement by which Turkish forces will withdraw from Bashiqa in northern Iraq. 

Yildirim said Turkish troops were in Bashiqa “out of necessity” adding that important steps were taken in the fight against ISIS. He said the Turkey and Iraq will reach a friendly solution to issue of the PKK in Sinjar as well.

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

Al-Abadi said Iraq was eager to increase trade and strengthen economic relations with Turkey. He added that Iraq would install an oil pipeline with Turkey after regaining control of Mosul. 

Turkey has around 2,000 soldiers in northern Iraq with around 500 stationed in Bashiqa where they have trained Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and local volunteers to join the fighting against ISIS.