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Al-Jaafari rejects Turkey’s request to fight the PKK

NEWS DESK- Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said that he spoke with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu about the need for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Iraq and stressed on not allowing Iraq to become a regional conflict zone.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu arrived at the capital Baghdad on an official visit and is scheduled to head to Hewler to meet with leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Massoud Barzani.

The Turkish visit comes after the start of the campaign to restore Tal Afar in the province of Nineveh, also after the delegation left the referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Baghdad without receiving an Iraq welcome on the issue raised by the delegation.

“We discussed political, economic and security issues, and we stressed on the need for economic cooperation and the opening of investment, especially in the liberated areas from IS terrorism,” Al-Jaafari said in a joint press conference with Çavuşoğlu.

“We talked with the Turkish foreign minister of the need to withdraw his forces from Bashika,”Al- Jaafari said.

Asked about Turkey’s request for coordination with Iraq to launch attacks on PKK positions, he said: “We do not allow Iraq to become a regional conflict zone and we refuse to offend any neighboring country.” No coordination has been announced with Ankara to fight the PKK.

Al-Jaafari said, “The presence of the PKK in Iraq came in the midst of developments on the security level and the situation in Iraq.”

While his counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said they wanted to coordinate with Iraq to fight the PKK.

Erdogan’s request comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the media that they intend to attack the Kurds, where he had a meeting between Turkey and Iran on a joint operation against the Kurds.

Al-Jaafari said he had talked with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu about the need to withdraw Turkish troops from Iraq.

It is noted that Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced, on January 7, 2017, an agreement with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildrim on Iraq’s request on the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Bashika.