April 17, 2019 / 12:06 PM
Turkish troops would quit Iraq if Baghdad requests: envoy

The Turkish Ambassador to Iraq Fatih Yildiz said on Tuesday, April 16, that his country’s forces were deployed in Bashiqa at the request of senior Iraqi officials and stressed that they would depart if requested by Baghdad, NRT reported.

“The [territorial] integrity of Iraq is an important issue to us and common understating will determine the departure of the forces,” Yildiz said during a visit to the city of Najaf.
“The topic will not have an impact on trade relations between our two countries and will not cause problems,” he added.
“We have come to have discussions about several topics, especially about opening a Turkish consulate in Najaf province and starting the legal procedures to do so. The economic and trade ties between Iraq and Turkey has achieved remarkable progress.”
Bashiqa, also known as Bashik, is located approximately 20 kilometers northeast of Mosul in Nineveh province, but is part of the disputed areas.
Turkish troops were first deployed to the town in December 2015. Reuters reported at the time that they were there to train Peshmerga units, citing a senior Turkish official.
Then-Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office called on the troops to leave, saying that the deployment was unnecessary. The Turkish government has maintained that Abadi had requested the deployment, according to the Turkish state-owned newspaper Daily Sabah.
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