Turkey's Ambassador to Baghdad Faith Yıldız announced that mutual delegation meetings with Baghdad to discuss the launch of a new border gate between Turkey and Iraq will start soon. Highlighting that the new border gate will turn the tide in bilateral trade with Iraq, Yıldız added: "Turkey attaches importance to the finalization of the status of the İbrahim Khalil border Gate and its control by the central government in Baghdad. When these two issues are settled, we will make great progress regarding double customs duty since exporters have to pay taxes both to the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. Turkey and Iraq should settle the issue of a second border gate."
"But the status of the area right across Ovaköy, where we plan to open the new border gate, is due to be determined between Baghdad and Irbil," Turkey's envoy to Baghdad Yıldız said.
A 570-kilometer road stretches from Faysh Khabur to Baghdad and directly connects Turkey to the Iraqi capital. When the second door opens, the road will start operating effectively, Ambassador Yıldız said.
He added that the developments in the KRG showed that Turkey and Iraq should not rely on a single border gate.
Turkey's trade with Iraq in 2017 exceeded $8 billion, the envoy said.
"We are trying to reach the figures of 2012 and 2013 when bilateral trade was recorded above $10 billion and 2017 was a promising year to reach that goal," Yıldız said.
He further noted that as the ties between Irbil and Baghdad get better, the trade will be easier, which will provide new opportunities for Turkish business people.