Turkey and Iraq to Strengthen Ties During Erdogan's Visit to Baghdad

Erdogan to visit Baghdad to strengthen Turkey-Iraq ties, discuss water, energy, and security issues. Potential joint operation against PKK in northern Iraq. Significant implications for regional stability and economic cooperation.

Mazhar Abbas
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Turkey and Iraq to Strengthen Ties During Erdogan's Visit to Baghdad

Turkey and Iraq to Strengthen Ties During Erdogan's Visit to Baghdad

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to visit Baghdad in a bid to strengthen relations between Turkey and Iraq. The upcoming trip holds great importance for both countries, with key issues such as water resources, energy cooperation, and security on the agenda.

During a recent statement, Erdogan emphasized that Iraq attaches great significance to this visit and expressed Turkey's commitment to addressing Iraq's concerns and requests regarding water issues. The two countries are also expected to discuss natural gas and oil flow to Turkey, indicating a comprehensive approach to bilateral matters.

In addition to his visit to Baghdad, Erdogan mentioned the possibility of traveling to Erbil to meet with officials in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This move further highlights Turkey's dedication to regional diplomacy and its desire to engage with various stakeholders in Iraq.

The groundwork for Erdogan's visit was laid by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who recently held meetings with Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and President Abdul Latif Rashid, as well as Kurdish leaders. During his visit, Akar announced understandings reached with Baghdad against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the possibility of a joint operation in mid-March to target PKK military bases in northern Iraq.

Why this matters: The strengthening of Turkey-Iraq relations has significant implications for regional stability and economic cooperation. As two major players in the Middle East, improved ties between Ankara and Baghdad could contribute to greater security and prosperity in the region.

The visit also comes on the heels of Prime Minister Al-Sudani's meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House. During their talks, the two leaders discussed the transition of Iraq's relationship with the United States from a military alliance to a comprehensive partnership. They also addressed issues such as energy independence, financial reforms, and the fight against ISIS.

Erdogan's upcoming visit to Baghdad represents a pivotal step in fostering closer cooperation between Turkey and Iraq. With a focus on key bilateral issues and a commitment to regional diplomacy, the two countries are poised to strengthen their ties and work together to promote stability and economic growth in the Middle East. As Turkish Defense Minister Akar stated, Turkey is ready to provide support for eliminating terrorists in Iraq's Sinjar region if necessary, highlighting the shared security concerns that unite the two nations.

Key Takeaways

  • Erdogan to visit Baghdad to strengthen Turkey-Iraq relations
  • Key issues include water resources, energy, and security cooperation
  • Erdogan may also visit Erbil to engage with Kurdish leaders
  • Turkey and Iraq reach understandings against PKK, possible joint op
  • Improved ties could contribute to regional stability and growth