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Turkey’s Erdogan, Iraq’s Abadi Vow To Cooperate On Security, Economy


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on October 25.

The leaders of Iraq and Turkey say they are ready to strengthen cooperation to end conflicts and instability in the region.

"We are part of a region suffering from conflict and instability, and it is time to cooperate to end these conflicts," Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi told a news conference on October 25 during a visit to Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was his country's wish was that “Iraq will rise again from the ashes and destruction. We will lend our support for this and take the steps necessary for the peace and security of the region."

The leaders have had tense relations in the past but appear to have found common ground recently in their mutual opposition to moves by Kurdish leaders in Iraq to push for independence from Baghdad.

Turkey fears that independence moves by Iraqi Kurds could further ignite similar aspirations among its own large Kurdish population.

"We have always said from the beginning that we support the territorial integrity of Iraq, and we will continue to say so," said Erdogan, who added that a September 25 Kurdish independence referendum was "unacceptable."

Iraqi Kurdistan on October 25 appeared ready to ramp down tensions in the dispute, proposing a "freeze" on the results of the referendum and to start "an open dialogue" with Baghdad.

Neither Abadi nor Erdogan commented on the proposal.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, The Daily Sabah, and Alaraby
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