Turkey and Iraq will deepen their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, President Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 3, stressing that securing Iraq’s political unity and territorial integrity, as well as ensuring its stability and security, are at the heart of Turkey’s policy on Iraq.
“There are lots we can do with Iraq in the defense industry,” the president also noted.
“We are ready to contribute to infrastructure and development projects in Iraq — construction of places which were harmed by conflicts being the priority,” Erdoğan said. Turkey and Iraq will continue holding High Level Strategic Council meetings in 2019, he added.
The two countries can do a lot with their strategic location and this partnership will serve not only to two countries but also to the whole region, he noted.
Iraqi President Salih paid his first official visit to Turkey following his election in early October. Salih, a former prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from the ranks of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK), is a familiar figure to Ankara and his election as the president of Iraq has been welcomed by the Turkish government.
Salih welcomed a Turkish decision to send a special envoy to Iraq to discuss water shortages in the country, partly blamed on Turkey which has stopped up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as it builds dams.