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Turkish PM to visit Iraq this week: Official sources

By Sinan Uslu

ANKARA

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is planning to visit Iraq sometime later this week, sources at the prime ministry told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

According to the same sources, Yildirim will visit the cities of Baghdad and Erbil on Jan. 5 and 6 respectively.

Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks — by phone — with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

During their conversation, Erdogan reportedly told al-Abadi that Yildirim planned to visit Iraq sometime in January.

He did not, however, provide an exact date for the prime minister’s upcoming visit.

Sources from both sides have said that the visit would provide an opportunity to share their respective positions on recent regional developments and promote enhanced bilateral ties.

Turkey has a longstanding military training mission at Camp Bashiqa, where Turkish soldiers have trained both Peshmerga fighters and local tribal volunteers in combat techniques.

In recent months, the mission’s presence in Mosul in northern Iraq has led to tension between Baghdad and Ankara amid calls by some Iraqi lawmakers for Turkish troops to withdraw.


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