Iraqi & Turkish Presidents: Problems Should Be Resolved Through Dialogue

Iraq 05:00 PM - 2024-04-22
 Iraqi & Turkish Presidents Iraqi Presidency media office

Iraqi & Turkish Presidents

Türkiye Iraq

On Monday, April 22, 2024, Iraqi President Abdullatif Jamal Rashid received Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Salam Palace in Baghdad in what has been described as a "historic visit."

The two leaders had robust discussions on matters related to water sharing, economy, and security and exchanged views on viable solutions to longstanding issues between the two neighbours.

President Rashid and President Erdogan agreed on the importance of intensifying efforts to strengthen border security, tackle climate change challenges, and address the water crisis.

Both leaders agreed that the aggression against Gaza must end immediately and expressed their support for the Palestinian people's legitimate rights under international law.

They urged the international community to scale up humanitarian assistance to Gaza and work toward establishing security, stability, and peace in the region by finding a lasting solution to the Palestinian question.

The meeting’s agenda centred on ways to reduce tensions in the region and de-escalate crises. They agreed that all thorny issues between regional countries could be resolved through constructive dialogue.

The two presidents then presided over a meeting of high-level Iraqi and Turkish government delegations to discuss a series of strategic issues.

The Iraqi delegation included Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Minister of Oil Hayan Abdul Ghani, Minister of Environment Nizar Amedi, Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in Baghdad Faris Issa, and several top officials and advisers.

The Turkish delegation included Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar, Minister of Interior Ali Yerlikaya, Minister of National Defence Yaşar Güler, Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır, Minister of Agriculture and Forest İbrahim Yumaklı, Minister of Trade Ömer Bolat, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, Chairman of National Intelligence Service İbrahim Kalın, and Ambassador of Türkiye to Iraq Ali Rıza Güney, as well as several high-ranking officials and advisers.

A wide range of topics were discussed, including ways to enhance intra-regional trade, encourage investment, and address the water issue.

“The Iraqi government looks forward to establishing distinguished relations with its Turkish neighbour at various levels,” said President Rashid, reaffirming Iraq’s commitment to establishing balanced relations with all friendly and fraternal countries.

His Excellency added that there is common ground that binds the two countries in terms of their historical, economic, commercial, and cultural ties.

“As far as Baghdad and Ankara are concerned, positive dialogue is crucial to resolving some of the most pressing, outstanding issues between them,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of natural and human resources available in both Iraq and Türkiye that should be utilised to achieve comprehensive development and prosperity for both countries.”

President Rashid expressed his conviction that terrorism must be combated through joint efforts and coordination. On the matter of border security, His Excellency reiterated that “anyone trying to settle scores on Iraqi soil or turn Iraq into a battleground to threaten any neighbouring country is categorically rejected, as are attacks on our cities.” He stated unequivocally that Iraq's sovereignty and national security must be respected.

President Rashid also broached the water crisis in Iraq due to the decrease in the flow of water through the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. For Iraq to meet its water needs, he said, it is necessary to ensure that Iraq receives its fair share of water, activate joint committees, utilise expertise in managing water and building dams, and coordinate and consult on projects and facilities being constructed along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

To strengthen friendships and partnerships, President Rashid emphasised the importance of resuming the work of joint committees and activating the terms of agreements and memoranda of understanding.

On the project to link the Gulf countries with Europe via Türkiye, His Excellency noted that Iraq continues to make progress with the Development Road initiative. In addition to vast economic benefits, the project will reinvigorate trade between the two countries and all the countries in the Middle East since it is the most efficient and least expensive method, he said.

Türkiye’s President was delighted to visit Iraq after several years, commending the various developments in Iraq.

According to President Erdogan, bilateral relations between the two countries are of great importance and should be expanded to cover a wider range of areas.

“Türkiye stands side by side with Iraq in its fight against terrorism and in its efforts to confront challenges related to security, the environment, and the economy,” said President Erdogan, adding that Iraq and Türkiye maintain distinguished relations in many fields, which contribute to enhancing further cooperation and coordination to the benefit of both countries' citizens.

The Turkish President confirmed that his country has a clear understanding of Iraq's water needs and is willing to cooperate through joint committees.

President Erdogan said that for Türkiye, Iraq is an important trade and economic centre, and it makes sense to foster stronger trade and economic cooperation mechanisms between the two countries.

He concurred that the Development Road initiative is vital for the countries of the region.

“The Turkish government intends to continue to offer assistance to Iraq to ensure that the project is completed as soon as possible and that the region has achieved its economic and development objectives,” he said.




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