FM Çavuşoğlu, Tillerson discuss Iraq, Syria in phone call

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 24.08.2017 17:13
Updated 24.08.2017 17:34
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, following a news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo)
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, following a news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo)

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed the latest situation in Iraq and Syria with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call Thursday.

According to foreign ministry sources, Çavuşoğlu and Tillerson discussed the independence referendum that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) plans to hold September 25. The KRG has been repeatedly urged against holding the referendum by both Turkey and the U.S. as it would likely lead to instability in the region.

The two top diplomats also reportedly discussed the latest developments in Syria, particularly in the provinces of Idlib and Afrin.

The sources said that Çavuşoğlu and Tillerson also touched upon the topic of Afghanistan.

Çavuşoğlu was on official visit to Iraq Wednesday, where he met with Iraqi President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Following the meetings in Baghdad, Çavuşoğlu moved to the KRG's capital city of Irbil to meet with KRG officials, including President Barzani, where Çavuşoğlu reportedly expressed Turkey's concerns regarding the independence referendum once again while stressing that Iraqi Kurds would not benefit from a possible independence decision.

Meanwhile, after their meeting in Ankara Wednesday President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis underscored the importance of both Syria and Iraq's territorial integrity, at a time when Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq is planning to hold a referendum on Sept. 25.

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