- Title: Turkish minister says does not see Iraq Bashiqa camp problem as serious
- Date: 6th October 2016
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (OCTOBER 6, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU AND ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER PAOLO GENTILONI WALKING TOWARDS NEWS CONFERENCE HALL GENTILONI (LEFT) AND CAVUGOLSU (RIGHT) ARRIVING AT JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE / STANDING BEHIND PODIUMS NEWS CONFERENCE ATTENDEES (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER, MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU, SAYING: "We don't see a serious problem in here. I believe we will tackle this problem. Iraq should leave internal political hesitation rhetoric coming from this issue and decide how we (eds note: referring to both Iraq and Turkey) can do a political cooperation on this issue." MORE OF NEWS CONFERENCE ATTENDEES GENTILONI (LEFT) AND CAVUGOLSU (RIGHT) SHAKING HANDS AT THE END OF NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 21st October 2016 18:21
- Keywords: Turkey Iraq Bashiqa Mideast
- Location: ANKARA, TURKEY
- City: ANKARA, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00152VCSW7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday (October 6) Ankara did not regard a row with Baghdad over Turkey's military presence at the Bashiqa base in northern Iraq as a serious problem and that it could be resolved if Baghdad halts its "rhetoric".
"We don't see a serious problem in here. I believe we will tackle this problem. Iraq should leave internal political hesitation rhetoric coming from this issue and decide how we can do a political cooperation on this issue," Cavusoglu told reporters.
His comments, at a news conference with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni, came after Iraq requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the presence of the Turkish troops on its territory.
Turkey's parliament voted last week to extend the deployment of an estimated 2,000 troops across northern Iraq by a year to combat "terrorist organisations" - a likely reference to Kurdish rebels as well as Islamic State.
Iraq condemned the vote, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Turkey risked triggering a regional war. On Wednesday, Ankara and Baghdad each summoned the other's ambassador in protest at remarks from the other camp.
Turkey says its military is in Iraq at the invitation of Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish regional government, with which Ankara maintains solid ties. Baghdad says no such invitation was ever issued.
Most of the Turkish troops are at a base in Bashiqa, north of Mosul and close to Turkey's border, where they are helping to train Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga and Sunni fighters.
Tensions between Baghdad and Ankara have risen with expectations of an offensive by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces to retake Mosul, the last major Iraqi city under Islamic State control, captured by the militants two years ago.
Turkey has said the campaign will send a wave of refugees over its border, and potentially on to Europe.
Ankara also worries that Baghdad's Shi'ite Muslim-led forces will destabilise Mosul's largely Sunni population and worsen ethnic strife across the region, where there are also populations of Turkmens, ethnic kin of the Turks.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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