Iraq summons Turkish diplomat in protest against defense minister’s visit

Senior Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nizar Al-Khairallah summoned the Turkish charge d’affairs and handed him a protest note. (Twitter/@Iraqimofa)
Senior Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nizar Al-Khairallah summoned the Turkish charge d’affairs and handed him a protest note. (Twitter/@Iraqimofa)
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Updated 03 May 2021

Iraq summons Turkish diplomat in protest against defense minister’s visit

Iraq summons Turkish diplomat in protest against defense minister’s visit
  • Iraq condemns Turkey’s intention to establish a permanent military base in northern Iraq
  • Baghdad ‘categorically rejects’ violations of Iraqi sovereignty by Turkish military force

LONDON: Iraq launched a diplomatic protest against Turkey on Monday after the Turkish defense minister visited troops in northern Iraq.
The foreign ministry summoned the charge d’affairs at the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad to protest against the minister’s trip on Saturday.
Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq on April 23. Baghdad has repeatedly complained about Turkish offensives on its territory. Turkey claims it is hitting bases belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which the group uses to carry out attacks inside Turkey.
Iraqi officials handed the Turkish diplomat a protest note expressing the Iraqi government’s “strong dissatisfaction and condemnation of the presence of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Iraqi lands without coordination or prior approval from authorities,” the ministry said.
The Iraqi government also denounced Akar’s meeting with Turkish forces that it says are in the country illegally. The statement condemned comments by the Turkish interior minister regarding Turkey’s intention to establish a permanent military base in northern Iraq.
The Iraqi government “categorically rejects” the violations of Iraqi sovereignty and airspace by Turkish military forces, the statement said.
Turkish media reported that Akar and military officials visited a base in Iraq and updated troops on the number of PKK militants killed in the operation.
The offensive is based in Iraq’s Metina and Avashin-Basyan regions.