By Enes Kaplan and Sinan Uslu
The presence of Daesh and PKK terror groups in Iraq is unacceptable to Turkey, Turkish premier said Sunday.
Prime Minister Binali Yildrim made the remarks following his meeting with Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani in Erbil during his second day in Iraq.
Both leaders discussed a number of issues during their meeting, including cooperation in health, energy, investment and economic sectors as well as the fight against terrorism.
In remarks made at a joint press conference, Yildirim said: “We keep on fighting against the PKK/PYD, both in Turkey and in our region.
“PKK’s attacks on Turkey from Iraqi lands are unacceptable.”
He said the aim of Turkey was to eradicate the Daesh terrorist group.
“Our goal is to eradicate Daesh, [which is an] enemy of humanity and our region. We expect more support from the international community on this issue.”
The premier also said the presence of the PKK in Iraq's mountainous Sinjar region was unacceptable.
The PKK is expanding towards the West and its presence in Sinjar is unacceptable for us, he said.
He also said Daesh, PKK/PYD and Fetullah Terrorist Organizations (FETO) terror groups “concern not only Turkey but also Iraq and Syria.”
The Turkish prime minister also mentioned the assistance given to the Kurdish Regional Government. "We hope to enhance the medical support provided to KRG [Kurdish Regional Government] by Turkey and our joint efforts in the health field,” he said.
He said a commission to discuss economic issues and business would also be set up in January in Erbil.
In an interview with Turkmeneli TV, the premier said: “Turkey’s security begins from Iraq. Unless Iraq is secured Turkey is not safe too. For that reason we should stand together in the fight against terrorism. Otherwise the expected success would not be realized.”
Meanwhile, Barzani said: “Combatting terrorism is a duty for all of us. We need support… We are willing to improve our ties with Turkey in all areas.”
Yildirim also visited a Peshmerga outpost in Zardak Mountain in northern Iraq where the fight against Daesh terrorists continues.
On Saturday, Yildirim and his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi co-chaired the third Turkey-Iraq High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting in Baghdad, which declared that both countries would work for their mutual interests as well as for peace and stability in the region.
Turkish premier returned to Ankara on Sunday evening. In remarks made to the media at the Ankara Esenboga Airport, Yildirim said Turkey and Iraq had agreed to jointly fight against all terror groups, including Daesh, PKK and FETO, saying relations between Ankara and Baghdad were entering a new era.
He said both sides agreed to remove the PKK from Sinjar.
“We discussed this issue with all details. Our stance is clear. PKK’s presence in Sinjar becomes a matter of Turkey’s national security. Either Iraq and Peshmerga remove them [the PKK] from the area or Turkey will take necessary steps,” he added.
“We agreed to put an end to FETO’s activities in Iraq,” he said.
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