Turkey’s Erdogan meets Iraqi PM for talks on water, security and trade

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has met Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad for talks on security, economic and energy cooperation.

In a joint news conference on Monday, Erdogan said the two leaders discussed steps the two countries could take against the armed group the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and welcomed Iraq’s designation of the PKK as a banned group.

Erdogan said he had shared his strong belief that the PKK’s presence in Iraqi territory would end as soon as possible. The Turkish president said that cooperation on security and the fight against “terrorism” was one of the most important agenda items during his meetings in Iraq.

The PKK, which has fought a decades-long rebellion against the Turkish state and is considered a “terrorist” group by Ankara and its Western allies, has a presence in northern Iraq.

Al-Sudani said Turkey and Iraq discussed security cooperation and agreed to deal with the challenge of non-state armed actors that could cooperate with “terrorist” groups.

The two sides signed a strategic framework agreement to oversee security, energy and economic cooperation as well as a 10-year agreement on management of water resources that ensures Iraq will get its fair share, the Iraqi prime minister added.

During Erdogan’s visit, the Turkish president and Iraqi premier also witnessed the signing of a preliminary agreement by related ministers of the countries to cooperate on a $17 bn Development Road project.

Erdogan also said in the press conference that Ankara eyes widening mutual trade – and cooperation in energy, health and tourism – with Iraq.The Iraqi prime minister said 24 memorandums of understanding were signed during Erdogan’s one-day visit.

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