Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Top Turkish officials, including the Foreign Minister and Intelligence Chief, are set to participate in a crucial security meeting in Iraq on Thursday, as confirmed by a spokesperson from the Turkish ministry. According to the spokesperson, Oncu Keceli, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Defense Minister Yasar Guler, and spy chief Ibrahim Kalin will all be present at the meeting in Baghdad, scheduled for Wednesday.

Turkey’s military operations in northern Iraq, particularly targeting positions held by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), have been frequent due to the ongoing insurgency against the Turkish state. Keceli emphasized that discussions during the meeting will prioritize security and military cooperation, with a focus on joint counter-terrorism measures.

Acknowledging Iraq’s commitment to addressing the PKK threat, Keceli stated, “We see Iraqi authorities’ portrayal of the PKK as a common security threat as a sign that Iraq has started to show the resolve to fight the PKK.” Turkey has maintained numerous military bases in northern Iraq over the past 25 years, reflecting its persistent efforts to combat the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies.

During a recent statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed optimism about resolving border issues with Iraq by summer. Keceli echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of discussions regarding the potential reopening of an oil pipeline between Turkey and Iraq, which had been closed since March 2023. These matters are expected to be on the agenda during Erdogan’s forthcoming visit to Iraq.

The upcoming security meeting underscores the ongoing collaboration between Turkey and Iraq in addressing regional security challenges, particularly concerning counter-terrorism efforts. With high-level officials from both countries in attendance, the discussions are poised to shape future strategies and initiatives aimed at bolstering security cooperation and stability in the region.

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