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Baghdad, Ankara Say Ties Improving


Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says ties with Ankara had gone through what he called “a problematic time.”

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says ties with Ankara had gone through what he called “a problematic time.”

Turkey and Iraq say their strained ties are improving.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in Ankara on October 25 that relations had gone through what he called “a problematic time” over the past two years but “the time had come for us to close this page and open a new one.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, appearing with Zebari at a joint press conference, said the two sides had agreed on a formal mechanism for more intensive talks between their governments.

Relations between the two have been strained by Turkey's deepening ties with Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, which is locked in a dispute with Baghdad over oil and land rights.

Another source of tension has been Turkey’s sheltering Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who was sentenced to death in Baghdad on charges of running death squads.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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