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Iraq Seeks End To Turkish Presence In North

Iraq's government says it rejects the presence of foreign bases on Iraqi soil and will oppose any foreign military forces that enter Iraq to chase rebels.

The October 2 statement from government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh is seen directed at neighboring Turkey, which since the 1990s has maintained military bases in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq to battle Turkish Kurdish rebel fighters who seek haven in Iraq.

The statement called on the Iraqi parliament to cancel or not extend any treaty giving a foreign state the right to operate a base or deploy forces in Iraq.

NATO member Turkey established bases in northern Iraq during the rule of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, who was ousted in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Ties between Iraq and Turkey have recently faced increasing strains.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP

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