The Iraqi parliament’s rejection of Turkey’s military presence in the country is not a reflection of the feelings of ordinary Iraqis, the Turkish foreign minister said Wednesday.
Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the decision against the Turkish base at Bashiqa in northern Iraq “does not represent the whole Iraqi people.”
He said a 2007 mandate from the Turkish parliament allowed military action against terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq but a recent extension of this mandate had been rejected by Iraqi lawmakers.
Cavusoglu urged Iraq to “take the friendly hand that Turkey offers” for the benefit of Iraq and the region “in a period which is so critical in terms of fighting against Daesh.”
Iraq’s parliament on Tuesday asked the government to send a diplomatic note to the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad describing Turkish troops training forces against Daesh as “hostile occupying forces”. They also asked for trade and economic ties with Turkey to be reassessed.
Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue to support Iraq. “We think such a decisions are temporary and arising from internal politics,” he said, referring to the Iraqi parliament.
Earlier Wednesday, Iraq’s ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and Baghdad also summoned Turkey’s ambassador.
*Reporting by Nazli Yuzbasioglu; Writing by Fatma BulbulAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.