PM Yıldırım: Turkey will continue supporting united Iraq

Published 18.10.2017 20:49
Updated 19.10.2017 14:14

Turkey's unwavering support for Iraq will remain, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Wednesday.

Speaking at the TRT World Forum in Istanbul, Yıldırım said all of Iraq's ethnic groups should live side by side within the current borders of the country. "The Iraqi government's steps toward establishing its constitutional sovereignty inside the country's borders are valid and we support it," he said.

The prime minister added that Ankara expects Baghdad to show sensitivity in Kirkuk, where a large Turkmen population lives alongside Arabs and Kurds. This week, the Iraqi military took Kirkuk back from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Peshmerga forces, which controlled the region for a period of three years, which Yıldırım contended had resulted in the changing of Kirkuk's demographic make-up through oppression and violence.

Turning to international conflicts, he said terrorism and war have become more widespread around the world while developed countries had seen a spike in extremism and xenophobia. "Increasing racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination in our age are marginalizing people and making societies more divided and fragile," he said, adding that terrorism is the enemy of humanity and should be condemned without hesitation and fought against with global cooperation.

"Today, no country has shown a single success in fighting Daesh like Turkey has," he asserted, referring to military efforts to clear northern Syria of the terrorist group and arrests of terrorism suspects in Turkey.

He condemned Saturday's terrorist attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu, which killed more than 300, and said Turks were equally dismayed at the treatment being meted out against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, adding that Turkey helps and cares for Palestine and Syria.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım is expected to hold a meeting on recent developments with Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, as the latter is expected pay an official visit to Ankara today. Jahangiri is expected to also attend the ninth summit of the D8 in Istanbul tomorrow.

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